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Over 60 people occupied the AGL Energy head office in Melbourne this morning siting down on the 23rd floor offices of this energy producer and retailer. Several people locked themselves together on the 23rd floor. A number of climate guardian angels locked on to the front doors at street level. Why were they there?

AGL Energy, once regarded as a relatively green and environmentally friendly electricity producer, has in recent years bought and accumulated assets in black and brown coal generation and coal seam gas exploration. It is now a major source and polluter of carbon emissions.

Along with it’s transformation into a major carbon polluting company, it has also argued strongly for changes to the Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme arguing the Large Scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) should be abolished and existing arrangements grandfathered, and also the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Target (SRET) which residential households and small businesses use to install solar panels, should also be abolished.

  • AGL Energy is developing CSG at Gloucester against the wishes of the local community (Newcastle Herald Story)
  • AGL wants the RET scheme to be slashed (Business Spectator Story)
  • AGL Energy has recently bought dirty and polluting brown and black coal generating stations like the Loy Yang A Power station in the La Trobe Valley(Herald Sun Story) in 2013, and the Liddell power station in the Hunter Valley (RenewEconomy story) in 2014.

Here is a description by Giles Parkinson from Reneweconomy on AGL Energy from June 2014:

“Once the greenest of Australia’s biggest retailers, AGL Energy has changed its priorities since taking advantage of knock down prices to buy the Loy yang A brown coal generator in Victoria (Australia’s largest emitter), and seeking to buy the 4.6GW Macquarie black coal generators in NSW.

“AGL now says that the large scale target of 41,000GWh will be impossible to meet – a claim rejected by renewable developers and big international equipment providers such as GE and Vestas – although it does not say by how much the target should be diluted. “AGL Energy, however, does call for the removal of the rooftop solar component of the RET.

“Household solar PV now no longer requires subsidies to be an attractive proposition for households.”

How the protest unfolded on twitter:

More videos of why the protest occurred

Climate Guardian: “If the government won’t listen to scientists, then maybe they’ll listen to angels. What we are saying to them is, it isn’t your place to put our children’s future in jeopardy.”

Media reports from Greenleft Weekly, the Herald Sun and RenewEconomy

Feature images by 350.org Australia (Facebook page)