Renewed leadership could electrify AGL after years in the coal doldrums

A sweeping change of management for energy giant AGL announced today at the company's Annual General Meeting, could see Australia’s biggest climate polluter become the centre of the country’s renewable transition, says Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

Energy heavyweights Dr Kerry Schott, former head of the Energy Security Board, former Tesla executive Mark Twidell, Professor John Pollaers and CSR director Christine Holman will join the AGL board following a move for sweeping change at the energy company’s Annual General Meeting today.

Glenn Walker, senior campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said AGL’s renewed leadership is an important step in the company’s energy transition, but that the company must significantly pick up the pace.

“The exciting new leadership at AGL signals the start of a potential transformation of Australia’s biggest climate polluter to a renewable energy powerhouse, but there’s a need for speed. After years in the coal doldrums AGL now faces serious competition in the renewable transition, with rival Origin set to get a $20 billion renewable development cash injection from new owners Brookfield.”

“After an intense Greenpeace campaign that saw AGL bring forward the closure of its dirtiest coal-burner Loy Yang A, AGL’s shown it can move when pushed. Now it has the chance to really pick up the pace, bring forward the closure of its loss-making coal assets even further to 2030, and focus on renewables.”

“Investors and customers want to see AGL become a key part of the solution to the energy crisis. Many popular smaller green energy retailers have already or are on the brink of folding as the energy crisis escalates and the onus is on AGL to scale up solutions for those left in the lurch.”

“The opportunities here are boundless. In addition to bringing the closure of its ailing coal fleet forward to 2030, there’s immense potential for AGL to use its reach into millions of households and businesses to accelerate the electrification of homes, helping Australians get off polluting and expensive gas and breaking the stranglehold gas companies have on energy prices.”

The leadership renewal at AGL follows a turbulent period for Australia’s biggest energy generator, which saw it lose billions of dollars and become the target of a focused Greenpeace campaign, gaining AGL the unwanted title of Australia’s biggest climate polluter. AGL’s previous leadership team’s proposed demerger, which would have seen the company burn coal all the way through to the 2040s, suffered a humiliating defeat in June, leaving the company in urgent need of a new direction.

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Kimberley Bernard on 0407 581 404 or email [email protected]