AGL put on notice as shareholders vote for Australia’s biggest climate polluter to clean up its act

Greenpeace

Thousands of shareholders in Australian electricity giant, AGL, have expressed their support for a resolution calling on the company to disclose interim emissions targets towards the Paris climate goals for both of its planned demerged companies.

The vote was put to investors at the company’s Annual General Meeting today where a large number of shareholders also voted against AGL’s remuneration plan in light of the company’s catastrophic financial performance, including a more than $2 billion full-year loss and a 70 percent plunge in the AGL share price.

“Despite AGL’s blatant attempts to greenwash its image by splitting and rebranding, the fact remains that AGL is a coal burning company and will continue to be Australia’s biggest climate polluter under its current plan,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO David Ritter said.

“The results of today’s votes show that shareholders are opposed to AGL’s plan to continue down the polluting and unprofitable path of burning more coal. Instead of slapping green lipstick on a pig, AGL should do the right thing for the young people of Australia and for its investors by closing its coal burning power stations and replacing them with renewables by 2030 at the latest.”

Student climate activist, 18-year-old Ashjayeen Sharif’s bid for the AGL board garnered more than 2 percent support for his nomination bid. Mr Sharif campaigned on a platform of calling for AGL to replace its coal burning power stations with renewables by 2030 to safeguard the climate for other young people and to return AGL to profitability.

Long term AGL shareholder David Langsam said he supported Mr Sharif’s bid and was scathing of the company’s leadership, performance and direction.

“I have been an investor and AGL shareholder for more than 20 years and never have I seen a company tack left and right on the environment so many times, sometimes going green and lately going black.

“AGL’s share price is in freefall, the lowest it’s been in 20 years, while the directors and executive hand themselves multi-million dollar salaries. I don’t think that an 18-year-old university student with no board experience could possibly do any worse,” Mr Langsam said.

Greenpeace CEO David Ritter added that AGL is now known as Australia’s biggest climate polluter and cannot coast along on the basis of past promises.

“The groundswell of public support for teenage board candidate Ashjayeen Sharif, who sought to shift AGL from coal to renewables, shows that Australians want our biggest energy provider to do much better on climate.”

Notes

Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility

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