Engagement history

AGL’s reliance on coal combustion has brought significant pressure from ACCR and Market Forces. 2020 also saw notable action by BlackRock, which voted with ACCR for the company to bring forward its coal closure dates. Despite being Australia’s largest emitter of domestic greenhouse gas emissions, AGL has faced comparatively few regulatory constraints. Indeed, the Australian government has pressed AGL to stop closing down its coal plants. Investor engagement is, in part, responsible for AGL’s 2015 coal retirement schedule, its 2018 and 2020 scenario analyses, and its 2020 audit of its trade associations. Despite this progress, recent engagements have not seen any change to AGL’s planned 2048 coal exit date. Investors could continue to stress the issue while making sure that Origin follows-through on the results of its trade association audit. The company should, for example, be playing an active role to moderate the obstructionist Business Council of Australia, and to ensure that the association lobbies in favour of Australia taking robust action on the Paris Agreement.

Engagement opportunity