July 27, 2016

AGL’s renewables investment no silver bullet for Australia’s biggest polluter

350.org Australia says AGL’s plan to keep burning coal until 2050 undermines its comparatively small renewables investment, leaving the company stranded as Australia’s largest carbon polluter.

Despite AGL announcing it will be investing $200m of equity from the company into new solar and wind farms, the company has a large portfolio of dirty coal power stations. Indeed, in 2014 it purchased two massive coal power stations in NSW that have seen its carbon emissions skyrocket.

“We applaud AGL for investing money into renewables projects along the East Coast of Australia. However, the company remains the owner of a number of dirty coal plants across the country, and these are major barriers to large scale renewable energy coming online,” 350.org’s Josh Creaser said.

“AGL remains Australia’s largest carbon emitter, and if the company is serious about meeting their pledge to engage in business activities that are compatible with limiting warming to two degrees or less, it has to start to phase out coal power stations within years not decades.

“These are some of the dirtiest plants in Australia that have direct and dire impacts on people’s health and the climate.

“AGL and CEO Andrew Vesey are obviously playing smoke and mirrors with Australians: they claim to be leading a transition away from coal yet over the past year their emissions have increased by 90%.”

350.org Australia is running a campaign in the lead up at the AGL AGM in September calling for the company to commit to a coal closure plan in line with the climate science and based on a fair transition for communities.

Media contact: Cambell Klose 0490 436 948