AGL share price lifts despite Greenpeace accusing leadership of being ‘caught with their pants down’

The climate-focused organisation said AGL has “the memory of a goldfish and the agility of an elephant”.

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Key points

  • The AGL share price is outperforming on Thursday, gaining 1.34% to trade at $8.30
  • Its gains come despite Greenpeace slamming the company, saying it's "been caught with [its] pants down by the rapidly accelerating energy transition"
  • The organisation's comments came after the energy giant reportedly stated that ditching coal by 2030 would be an "engineering impossibility"

The AGL Energy Limited (ASX: AGL) share price is in the green on Thursday. That’s despite environmental group Greenpeace rebutting claims made by the company’s management.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s Glenn Walker slammed the company’s refusal to exit coal by 2030, saying AGL has “the memory of a goldfish and the agility of an elephant at a time which calls for the opposite”.

At the time of writing, the AGL share price is $8.30, 1.34% higher than its previous close.

For context, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is currently down 1.63%.

Let’s take a closer look at the latest push back to the company’s split.

AGL slammed for refusing to ditch coal this decade

The AGL share price is recovering from its previous four-session tumble on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Greenpeace has gone head-to-head with the company after it reportedly claimed ditching coal by 2030 is an “engineering impossibility”.

AGL’s management said that, to exit coal-fired power generation by the end of the decade, it would need to build twice as many wind farms over the next five years as it did over the prior five years, reports The Australian.

It also reportedly claimed transitioning to renewables by 2030 would require $30 billion and an area twice the size of the ACT.

“Time and time again, they have been caught with their pants down by the rapidly accelerating energy transition,” Walker rebutted.

AGL plans to shutter its Bayswater coal-fired power plant by 2033 and its Loy Yang A plant by 2045.

The AGL share price tumbled 3% amid the company’s decision to bring those dates forward by two and three years respectively in February.

But many environmental advocates believe that’s not soon enough. Walker continued:

AGL CEO Graeme Hunt claims that renewables cannot be built twice as fast as the past five years but that is exactly what the vast majority of his peers in the energy sector believe will happen …

This outdated adherence to coal is the same disastrous mistake repeated yet again, at the expense of shareholders, customers, the climate, and all Australians.

Walker also labelled the company’s planned split “dodgy” and “the latest in a long line of terrible decision making”.

The demerger would see AGL’s energy generation assets run by Accel Energy. Meanwhile, its retail business would be operated by AGL Australia.

Walker has previously dubbed the split “a turd rolled in glitter“.

AGL share price snapshot

Today’s gains included, the AGL share price is almost 32% higher than it was at the start of 2022.

Though, it has fallen 4.6% since this time last year.

Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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