Following today’s resignation of AGL CEO Brett Redman, who oversaw a loss-making expansion of the company’s polluting coal fleet, Greenpeace Australia Pacific has urged AGL to follow the market and hasten its switch to renewable energy. 
The announcement comes just weeks after AGL conducted a strategic review and proposed splitting the company in a cynical bid to hide the coal burning power stations that generate more than 85 per cent of AGL’s electricity from the public eye.
“AGL’s interim CEO Graeme Hunt should ditch this tricky demerger and take the simpler and smarter business decision to close its coal-burning power stations by 2030 at the latest and replace them with clean energy like wind, solar and batteries,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Campaigner, Glenn Walker said.
“Brett Redman chose his hill to die on, and it was piled high with coal. The days of coal-burning power are coming to an end, and this internal turbulence at our largest energy retailer is a sign of the times. The quicker energy companies shift to renewables, the better off they, their customers, shareholders and the environment will be.”
“Only yesterday, Australia’s third-largest emitter, Stanwell, announced that it was getting out of coal. As Australia’s biggest climate polluter, AGL should read the writing on the wall and come to the same decision. “
“Let’s hope that this change in leadership brings about a change in direction and AGL accepts its responsibility to manage the shutdown and rehabilitation of its ageing coal burning power stations rather than hiding its coal assets in a separate business.”
While there is hope that AGL will take a different path under new leadership, it is of note that AGL’s interim CEO Greg Hunt was Vice Chair of Australia’s most vocal fossil fuel lobby groups, the Minerals Council from 2007-9 and on the organisation’s board before that.
“All eyes will be on AGL’s next move. While new leadership does offer hope, interim CEO Graeme Hunt’s track record of working for the Minerals Council, which has for decades fought viciously against action to address climate change, is a cause for concern.”