Student striker in the running to lead Australia’s biggest climate polluter, AGL
SYDNEY, August 16, 2021: An eighteen year old student striker has bought shares in energy giant AGL and nominated himself as a director, saying that he wants to transform AGL from Australia’s biggest climate polluter to a renewable energy powerhouse.
Ashjayeen Sharif, a first year university student from Melbourne, is in the running for a directors role at AGL, to be voted on in AGL’s upcoming Annual General Meeting in September. His nomination is the first time in Australia that a climate activist has run for a leadership position at a major energy, fossil fuel or mining company.
Ashjayeen’s campaign, launched today, calls on AGL to replace its polluting coal-burning power stations with renewables by 2030 to give Australia’s young people a fighting chance at a safe climate future, following disastrous financial losses reported by the energy giant last week.
“I’m a young person worried about climate change and so I decided to take matters into my own hands and go straight to the source – AGL, Australia’s biggest corporate climate polluter,” Ashjayeen said.
“AGL’s current leaders have shown they can’t be trusted to do the right thing on climate change, and so I’m stepping up to become a director, because I’m confident I could do a better job.”
“The IPCC’s climate report, released last week, shows what’s at stake if AGL doesn’t close its coal burning power stations – a future dominated by fires, floods and droughts. The current leaders, Graeme Hunt and Peter Botten, won’t be alive to have to deal with their climate-wrecking legacy. It’s young people like me that will have to deal with the fallout.”
Ashjayeen’s campaign, Ash for Director, launched with a powerful open letter and campaign video appealing to AGL shareholders and staff to prioritise a safe climate over dwindling coal profits.
As AGL reels from catastrophic yearly results, which saw the company post losses of $2.06 billion over the past financial year, Ashjayeen says that his renewable energy-focused approach would significantly benefit shareholders.
“As an AGL shareholder myself, I’m furious at the board and executive’s failure to get on top of the speed and scale of the renewable energy transition. Their coal obsession has cost shareholders billions of dollars, when AGL could have been transforming into a renewable superpower,” he said.
“It’s time for some fresh vision and some true climate leadership for AGL. I’m urging everyone who owns an AGL share – this is your chance to do the right thing by young people like me, and your own children, and ensure we have a safe climate future to grow up in.”