March 1, 2017

Big Three energy companies dominate Australia’s carbon pollution

Sydney, 1 March. Data released yesterday by the Clean Energy Regulator shows that Australia’s three biggest energy generators – AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia – are the country’s most polluting companies, responsible for nearly half of the emissions from Australia’s entire electricity system.

“At a time when Australians are feeling the impacts of climate change with the recent extreme heat, catastrophic bushfire conditions and more bleaching expected on the Great Barrier Reef, it’s timely to be reminded that no three companies are more responsible for climate pollution in Australia than AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia, said Josh Creaser, campaign coordinator.

Overall, reported emissions from the electricity system have increased due to more burning of brown and black coal.

“These three companies, along with the Federal Government’s crazy support of new coal projects, are condemning the climate and the Australian community to the worst impacts of climate change. An urgent plan is needed to retire coal plants and transition to clean energy from the wind and sun.” Creaser said.

AGL Energy (ranked number 1), the biggest polluter by a considerable margin, has more than doubled its carbon emissions over the past 3 years. AGL plans to burn brown coal until 2050.

Since buying the Eraring power station on the Central Coast, Origin’s (ranked number 4) emissions have increased fourfold. Origin has climbed from the 5th to the 4th most polluting company since last year.
Once Hazelwood Power station closes at the end of March, EnergyAustralia’s (ranked number 2) Yallourn power station will be the most carbon intensive in the country. EnergyAustralia has no announced plans to close its coal power stations.