Transforming Australia's biggest climate polluter
AGL's transformation from Australia's biggest climate polluter to one of Australia's biggest climate solutions is now well underway. It has been one of the most dramatic in Australian corporate history.
Our new film Power Play is the story of how Greenpeace and our supporters, along with a diverse group of people and organisations waged a strategic campaign against AGL and its leadership team; challenging the company's false clean and green image, turning away its customers, threatening its funding sources, and convincing its shareholders to take action.
AGL: Australia's Biggest Climate Polluter
AGL advertised itself to the Australian public as green and environmentally responsible. But a deeper dive into the company revealed this couldn't be further from the truth.
A Greenpeace investigation revealed that AGL was Australia’s biggest climate polluter by a long shot. 85% of their electricity came from burning coal, and as the owners and operators of three of the largest coal-burning power stations in the country, they were acting as a dam wall to a flood of renewable energy into Australia.
We knew that if we want to transform Australia's energy system, we needed to start with AGL.
AGL planned to burn coal until 2048, 18 years past the deadline given by the UN and the International Energy Agency if we wanted to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change.
AGL releases 42 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere each year. This is more than double Australia's next biggest polluter.
From climate polluter to renewable energy powerhouse
Over the course of 18 months, Greenpeace and our supporters exposed AGL as Australia's biggest climate polluter, won against AGL in court, shone a spotlight on their failing leadership, and mobilised their customers and staff to call for change. With Mike-Cannon Brookes powerfully buying a big stake in the company, we then worked with a diverse group of people, organisations and shareholders to help block AGL's demerger plans.
AGL has now brought forward their coal closure deadlines to 2035, 13 years earlier than originally planned. While this is still 5 years too late, we're confident that with the right leadership team now in place these coal closure timelines will continue to come forward.
MAY 2021 - Greenpeace investigation released
Greenpeace released detailed investigative report Coal-faced into AGL and their impact on the climate, health and local communities.
MAY 2021 - Greenpeace parody campaign launches
Greenpeace launched a major digital parody and street poster "brand jam" ad campaign, calling out AGL as Australia's biggest climate polluter.
JUNE 2021 - Greenpeace wins against AGL in court
Immediately following the launch of our campaign, AGL sued. After a rapid court process Greenpeace overwhelmingly wins the court case against AGL, setting a new legal precedent for freedom of expression.
JUNE 2021 - AGL announces plan to demerge company
AGL provided details around their plan to split the company into two, to hide their highly polluting coal power stations behind a new company Accel.
AUGUST 2021 - Ash for Director campaign launches/h3>
Greenpeace supported 18 year old Ashjayeen Sharif to run as a Director for the AGL Board, highlighting the major failings of the AGL Board. This campaign helped force AGL to publicly commit to appointing skilled climate and ESG experts to the Board.
AUGUST 2021 - Greenpeace launches campaign to AGL shareholders
Greenpeace launched a campaign calling on AGLs shareholders to vote for climate friendly resolutions at the companies upcoming annual general meeting.
AUGUST 2021- ACCR launches AGL climate resolution
The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) launched a climate-focussed shareholder resolution to be voted on at AGL's Annual General Meeting.
SEPTEMBER 2021 - Climate concerns dominate at AGL's annual general meeting.
In an unprecedented investor revolt, 54% of shareholders supported ACCR's resolution calling on the company to disclose interim emissions targets aligned with the Paris climate goals.
OCTOBER 2021 - AGLs biggest customer decarbonises
After campaigning by Greenpeace and other environmental organisations Rio Tinto announced it would be decarbonising its aluminium smelters by 2030. This meant AGLs Bayswater power station would lose over 50% of its demand by 2030.
DECEMBER 2021 - Banks campaign
Greenpeace launches a public campaign targeting Australia’s big four banks calling on them to rule out funding AGL.
FEBRUARY 2022 - AGL takeover bid
Mike-Cannon Brookes and Brookfield launch bid to takeover AGL, drawing a huge amount of attention, and criticism, to AGL’s plans to demerge. After two attempts the Board rejects the bids.
MARCH 2022 - Greenpeace launches campaign opposing AGLs demerger
Greenpeace launches the ‘Too Big to Hide’ campaign, opposing AGL’s demerger. The campaign launches with a giant inflatable coal prop right outside AGL HQ in Melbourne.
APRIL 2022 - Shareholder campaign
Greenpeace launches a campaign under the ‘Progress for AGL’ brand, calling on AGLs shareholders to vote against AGLs demerger. Greenpeace also meets with AGL’s top investors and key proxy advisors.
MAY 2022 - AGL dumps demerger and leadership team
After Mike Cannon Brookes purchases a large share in AGL and numerous shareholders come out in opposition to the demerger, AGL dumps its demerger plans and its leadership team. AGL begins a strategic review of the company.
SEPTEMBER 2022 - Coal closure brought forward to 2035
AGL announces new decarbonisation plan which includes bringing forward the closure of Loy Yang A power station to 2035 and a commitment to replace coal with $12 billion worth of new renewable energy.
NOVEMBER 2022 - AGL get new leaders for a new era
New independent directors join AGLs board, with aspirations to further accelerate AGLs coal closure timelines.
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