AGL Energy has been remarkably busy in recent months trying to make itself look like a giant ship on the turn in the energy transition and not the Ever Given cargo ship stuck in the old sands of time. Now, AGL has announced plans to partition itself into two separate businesses which it says will provide them with the freedom to pursue their own agendas, but not everyone is convinced.
BlackRock, the $7.3 trillion asset manager and one of AGL Energy’s largest shareholders, broke ranks at AGL’s recent annual shareholder meeting to side with the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility’s resolution to accelerate the closure of the energy giant’s coal-fired power stations. The move is significant for BlackRock who had so far only talked the talk, but now seems to be walking the walk.
Australian mining giant BHP has signed a five-year power purchase agreement with CleanCo as it looks to cut emissions from its electricity use at its QLD coal mines by 50% by 2025. The agreement relies on a variety of energy sources, including gas, at least until the Western Downs Green Power Hub comes online in late 2022. Critics have described the deal as “greenwashing”.
The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCA), a shareholder advocacy group, has filed a Shareholder Resolution to AGL Energy calling for the expedited closure of its Bayswater and Loy Yang A coal-fired power stations. ACCA says that AGL’s own modelling contradicts both its climate commitment and its fiduciary responsibility.
The Minerals Council of Australia has released its long-awaited Climate Action Plan. The plan has been widely criticised for its empty posturing and at least one group of major investors are demanding the Council articulate some of its conspicuously vague plans.
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