Law News

AGL takes Greenpeace to court over climate campaign

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School strikers at AGL's Loy Yang Power Station in Victoria (Image by Dale Cochrane / Greenpeace)

Coal industry giant AGL attempts to silence Greenpeace for exposing its devastating ongoing damage to the environment and human health.

ENERGY GIANT AGL has launched legal action against environmental advocacy organisation Greenpeace Australia Pacific, following the launch of a Greenpeace campaign alleging AGL is Australia’s biggest corporate climate polluter.

Late in the evening on 6 May 2021, AGL’s legal team, Ashurst Australia, served Greenpeace Australia Pacific with an application for an urgent interlocutory injunction, demanding that the charity remove any identifying AGL logos from its campaign.

AGL’s legal tactics show the lengths that the multi-billion dollar fossil fuel industry will go to stifle their critics.

On Friday, 7 May, the application was heard in the Federal Court of Australia. The judge denied AGL’s request to grant the injunction. The matter is expected to appear back in court next week. 

Greenpeace Australia Pacific senior campaigner Glenn Walker told IA that Greenpeace was gearing up to meet AGL’s legal challenge:

“By throwing legal roadblocks in our path, AGL is trying to sink our campaign exposing the company as Australia’s biggest climate polluter. But we’re ready for a David and Goliath battle, and the truth is on our side.

AGL likes to slap a wind turbine on their ads to hide their dirty coal pollution, and now they’re trying to slap a lawsuit on us to keep us quiet."

Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s general counsel Katrina Bullock said: 

“AGL’s legal tactics show the lengths that the multi-billion dollar fossil fuel industry will go to stifle their critics.” 

The Greenpeace Australia Pacific campaign, which launched nationally on 5 May, saw the release of a report, 'Coal-faced: Exposing AGL as Australia’s biggest climate polluter'. The report covers AGL’s track record on carbon pollution, particulate air pollution and environmental standards breaches. The report was accompanied by a digital advertising campaign and dedicated website,

Glenn Walker added:

“This is yet another attempt by the coal industry to stop grassroots organisations from exposing the damage that it is doing to the climate, to the environment and to human health.”

 The Honourable Justice Burley has listed the matter for directions at 10 am on Tuesday, 11 May 2021.

IA will be bringing you more on this important developing story as it unfolds.

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