Since 2015 Environment Victoria has maintained a partnership with Powershop Australia, who has been consistently rated as the greenest electricity retailer in Australia.
The idea was simple, switch our supporters away from retailers like AGL and Energy Australia, who own some of the most polluting coal burning power stations in Australia, and support a company that only invested in renewable energy and offset ALL of the pollution from the electricity they sold. It was also important that Powershop was owned by Meridian Energy, a 100 percent renewable energy company with no investments in fossil fuel resources.
Powershop’s growth successfully challenged the business model of Australia’s biggest polluters, and over 6 years we helped switch hundreds of our supporters to what was then a more ethical energy provider. The contributions from Powershop also supported our ongoing campaign to phase out coal power in Victoria.
But the sudden and extremely disappointing announcement that Royal Dutch Shell will be the new owners of Powershop changes everything. They will now be owned by one of the world’s biggest climate wreckers.
Shell buried their own research into climate change because it would have affected their profits, putting the lives of millions at risk. They have spent decades funding climate denial groups and lobbying politicians to delay action. Something which they continue to do. Right now, Shell is fighting against a Dutch court ruling which found their current activities threaten the “right to life” and ordered them to pursue more ambitious cuts to their emissions.
Shell is also planning to expand its fossil gas business, a major contributor to dangerous methane emissions, and exploring for more dirty energy in places like Alaska. And that’s before we mention the devastating impact their oil drilling has had on the environment and local communities in places like the Niger Delta.
You can’t slap a bit of green paint on a multi-billion dollar pollution machine and expect us to ignore it. Shell’s actions and their values are fundamentally at odds with everything we stand for.
While we appreciate the dedication of the terrific staff at Powershop, and recognise that many of them will be just as disappointed by this announcement as we are, we have chosen to terminate our agreement.