Standing firm on the Paris Agreement

By Andy Vesey – Managing Director & CEO,  AGL Energy Limited

Following news overnight that the United States will withdraw from the historic 2015 Paris Agreement,  I welcome the strength with which both the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop and the Minister for Energy and the Environment, Josh Frydenberg, have reaffirmed Australia’s commitment to this important international agreement.

Back in 2015 AGL introduced its greenhouse gas policy; we then released our report detailing our approach to transitioning to a carbon constrained future in 2016 following the Paris Agreement; and have started the process of explaining to our customers why we are making an orderly transition away from coal-fired power and continuing our sector-leading investment in renewable energy. Our plan is consistent with the best available science on climate change mitigation, and in particular Australia’s international obligations under the Paris Agreement.

Both government and businesses have an important role to play in taking action to avoid dangerous climate change. Energy companies, and especially those involved in electricity generation, have a unique responsibility to help tackle this complex problem, but making long term investment decisions about what infrastructure we should build means we need policy certainty. Our government’s constructive engagement in the international climate negotiation process has helped provide some certainty, although we continue to encourage further steps in this direction.

The Government’s clear commitment to Australia’s obligations under the Paris Agreement indicates to Australian businesses that our investment decisions should be consistent with a carbon constrained future which limits warming to less than 2 degrees, as agreed to in the Paris Agreement.

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