New AGL, same old coal pollution: dodgy energy demerger details announced

SYDNEY, 30 June 2021: AGL, Australia’s biggest corporate climate polluter, has today revealed details of its controversial demerger, which has been derided by Greenpeace Australia Pacific as “putting green lipstick on a pig”, pointing out that AGL will still source the bulk of its energy from its coal-burning assets to be held by “Accel Energy”.

The demerger, first mooted in March, will see the troubled energy company split into two in 2022.

One company will retain the AGL brand and form the company’s retail arm, and will split from “Accel Energy. Accel Energy will retain AGL’s coal burning power stations, including Bayswater and Loy Yang A, which create more dangerous climate pollution than any other company. AGL will source almost all its energy from coal power generated by “Accel”.

AGL will also be 15-20 per cent owned by the dirty coal operator Accel.

Glenn Walker, senior campaigner for Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said that AGL’s announcement today was purely cosmetic, and does not change the company’s status as Australia’s biggest climate polluter.

“Despite this dodgy demerger, AGL’s energy will still be sourced from the same dirty old coal,” he said.

“This demerger is tantamount to rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, with AGL, Australia’s biggest climate polluter, trying to hide its greenhouse gas emissions behind clever company reporting tricks.”

“At a time when AGL should be taking its role in Australia’s energy transition seriously, and planning for a safe transition away from coal by 2030, the company has instead chosen to try to hide its contribution to the climate crisis by demerging”

Greenpeace Australia Pacific has targeted AGL as Australia’s biggest corporate contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. The escalating campaign has already seen a high profile Federal Court case, which saw AGL suffer a humiliating loss to Greenpeace in an attempt to have its brand removed from campaign materials.

Glenn Walker said that, in light of today’s demerger announcement, his organisation plans to increase pressure on AGL.

“AGL is trying to fool people into thinking it has changed with this demerger. But under the veneer of green lipstick the company will remain Australia’s biggest climate polluter for as long as it retains its coal power generators – and Greenpeace won’t let AGL get away with it.”

“AGL, be warned – we’re not fooled, and neither are your customers and investors. Accel Energy is an epic dud of an investment, and investors know it – who would fund coal in an increasingly renewable-powered world? It’s time to drop the facade and actually get on with the job of switching to renewable electricity generation.”

 

For more information please contact Fiona Ivits on 0487 003 872 or Martin Zavan on 0424 295 422

 

Notes to editors:

Read AGL’s disclosure to the ASX here