AGL Unloading Coal Partition Plan, Chairman and CEO to Resign - The Age

AGL Unloading Coal Partition Plan, Chairman and CEO to Resign – The Age

The board said on Monday that Australia was at a pivotal moment in the transition to clean energy, and believed that the closing dates of the Bayswater power plant in 2035 and the Luoyang coal-fired plant in 2045 “will continue to accelerate”.

AGL’s coal and gas power plants are the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia, accounting for 8 per cent of the country’s carbon footprint.

In a social media post, Cannon Brooks said it was a “huge day for Australia”.

He wrote: “We are seizing decarbonization opportunities with Australian courage, perseverance and ingenuity.” Lots of work but we can do it.

Grok Ventures, the billionaire’s private investment arm, has raised an 11.3 percent stake in AGL and is seeking to accelerate the company’s planned exit from coal in 2045 by up to a decade in a bid to help the world avoid catastrophic levels of global warming. .

Cannon-Brooks announced last week that he will seek two candidates for AGL’s board of directors if his campaign to prevent a split continues.

Hunt and his fellow AGL directors have insisted for months that the separation will unlock shareholder value, creating a carbon-neutral and clean energy retailer known as AGL Australia, which will be able to attract investors who are increasingly turning away from fossils. fuel. Meanwhile, they argued, housing AGL’s giant power plants in a separate company, Accel Energy, would enable a greater focus on converting coal sites into power centers that could also house renewables and batteries.

Energy giant AGL is the country's largest contributor to carbon emissions.

Energy giant AGL is the country’s largest contributor to carbon emissions.attributed to him:Paul Jones

However, Accel Energy’s AGL plan to continue burning coal through 2040 has been the subject of mounting pressure from some of its largest investors, who are increasingly pushing heavy emissions leftovers across Australia and around the world for faster decarbonization schedules.

More than half of AGL’s investors, including US investment giants BlackRock and Vanguard, defied the board last year and voted to support a climate action resolution requesting consideration of new targets that would force an early exit in line with the Paris Agreement’s goals to limit global warming to 1.5 grades.

Shareholder activists said on Monday that AGL’s board of directors ignored its shareholders and “paid the price now.”

“The bloodbath on the AGL board of directors today has been years in the making and is long overdue,” said Harriet Cater of the Australian Center for Corporate Responsibility.

“With the dismissal of class, the departure of four directors is a welcome step toward a brighter future for AGL shareholders.”

“AGL is in dire need of managers with first-hand experience in developing clean energy on a large scale.”

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Analysts said Monday that AGL’s planning for a new strategic direction appears to be “back to square one,” calling the failed separation a “costly process.”

“AGL Energy has spent close to $160 million so far on the failed separation proposal,” said Gordon Ramsay, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets. “Some of this spending may still be beneficial, as there is potential to use some of the ‘exhaustive analytical work’ and ‘comprehensive assessment of strategic plans’ developed for AGL Australia and Accel Energy for new analysis.”

HESTA, which is believed to hold a 0.4 percent stake in AGL on behalf of its members, said last week it was “not convinced” that the decoupling proposal would accelerate decarbonization to meet the Paris climate agreement’s goals of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5. grades. She also said she was concerned about the risk of coal power plants becoming “confined assets”, and believed that the board had failed to define how it would support communities affected by the eventual closure of those plants.

“We simply cannot eliminate the risks of Australia slowing down in its transition to a low-carbon future,” said Debbie Blackie, CEO of HESTA.

“Responsible investors have a responsibility to their members to go to where the biggest emissions are and as owners trying to change the behavior of these companies first.”

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