AUSTRALIA: Protest shuts down AGL office

Sunday 12 October 2014

Date: 9 October 2014

Type: News

Source: Green Left Weekly

Keywords: Fossil fuel, divestment

The latest in a growing tide of actions targeting the fossil fuel industry, over 60 people occupied the headquarters of AGL on October 9, to protest against its efforts to scrap Australia’s Renewable Energy Target and frack 330 unconventional gas wells in Gloucester, NSW.

Over 60 people sat-in at the company headquarters, while others blocked the entrance door and stood outside with a banner reading: “AGL invests in climate chaos.”

Five people locked on using pipe lock devices and will need Police Search and Rescue for removal. Seven people were arrested and charged on summons with trespass. AGL requested a meeting with protesters.

Dissatisfied by government inaction on climate change, campaigners are increasingly targeting fossil fuel companies and financiers over their role in driving dangerous climate.

Spokesperson Chloe Aldenhoven said: “We have lobbied governments for years yet climate change continues to accelerate at a dangerous pace. So, it’s time to step up the pressure on the blockers of climate action – the fossil fuel industry and their financiers, who have our leaders in shackles and are profiting from climate disruption.

“AGL is a prime example of a company actively working to block climate action. While it pretends to look to a green energy future, AGL is expanding its investment in dirty coal infrastructure and lobbying for the government to scrap the Renewable Energy Target, which has driven huge investment in clean energy, saved Australians hundreds of dollars on their energy bills, created thousands of Australian jobs and cut emissions.

“Whilst the government negotiates the fate of the Renewable Energy Target, we’re sitting here today to send a message to polluters like AGL that it’s time to stop blocking climate action.”

In May, a community blockade succeeded in suspending gas company Metgasco’s gas exploration license at Bentley in Northern NSW. Last week, activists succeeded in shutting down all of Whitehaven Coal’s coal operations in the Gunnedah basin.

Campaigners say that actions like today’s will continue to grow in scale and pace. On October 18, hundreds of Australians will protest the Big Four bank’s financing of fossil fuels by closing their accounts with the banks en masse following a similar action earlier this year that saw $250 million shifted out of the banks. Meanwhile, a delegation of Pacific Islanders will blockade the world’s largest coal port at Newcastle next Friday.

“Things are only going to get tougher for the big polluters."###

See online : Green Left Weekly

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