Reports that AGL, Australia’s biggest climate polluter, is on the verge of appointing former gambling executive Paula Dwyer as its new Chairman shows AGL believes that if it’s broken, don’t try and fix it, Greenpeace Australia Pacific says.

Loy Yang A Power Station in Victoria
Loy Yang A is a brown coal fired thermal power station owned by AGL Energy in the La Trobe Valley in Victoria, Australia. It was commissioned in 1985 and is due to close by 2048, which is well beyond what scientists are calling for in order to prevent further catastrophic climate change (2030). AGL Energy is Australia’s single largest climate polluter.

The reported appointment of Paula Dwyer, who was most recently Chairman of Tabcorp, is a blatant missed opportunity to appoint a Chair with renewable energy experience – an ironic misstep after the company failed to seize the clean energy transition and then failed to cover this up with its derailed dodgy demerger. 

Glenn Walker, Greenpeace Australia Pacific senior campaigner, said the reported appointment is a missed opportunity, a serious misstep, and a concerning prelude to its looming strategic review. 

“AGL lost the war over its demerger and now it seems determined to lose its shareholder value, its future, and its opportunity to help Australians switch off expensive, dirty fossil fuels as it fumbles the opportunity of the energy transition.

“As Australia’s biggest climate polluter, AGL failed time and time again to seize the opportunities of, and act in line with, the clean energy transition. The reported appointment of an ex-gambling executive as Chair over a candidate with renewable energy experience shows a grave and fundamental failure to learn from its mistakes.

“AGL has already seen the power of shareholder activism. It now risks a contested AGM by putting in place a controversial, unsuitable Chair. If the remaining members of AGL’s Board cannot understand the energy transition, the least it could do is appoint someone who does.

“The company now faces a big test with the looming release of a strategic review kicked off when its dodgy demerger failed. AGL must show it has learnt lessons from its previous failures by bringing forward the closure of its dirty coal-burning power stations to 2030 and getting ahead of the game to help households switch off expensive, toxic gas and electrify.”