Solar, gas companies fined for ‘greenwashing’ carbon-neutral certification

For the first time in the country, Australia’s corporate watchdog has fined solar and gas company Tlou Energy $53,280 (US$34,625) for “greenwashing” and claiming its power generation is carbon neutral.

Greenwashing is the act of misrepresenting the extent to which a product, service or investment fund is environmentally friendly, sustainable or ethical.

This practice could be a fund manager that combines green and fossil fuel investments into one product to ensure overall returns are maintained, or in this example an energy company that claims its business is carbon neutral even if it is not. No matter what, it can be done in a variety of industries. .

Sarah Court, Deputy Chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said:

the court pointed out to guidelines It outlined ways companies can avoid greenwashing and warned that more organizations are investigating.

“ASIC is currently investigating a number of publicly traded companies. [pension] I managed the fund, and the fund in connection with the green credential claim,” she said. “Companies are aware that ASIC actively monitors the market for potential greenwashing and will take enforcement action, including court action, for serious violations.”

ASIC has pleaded guilty to four infringements against Tlou, accusing it of claiming its electricity production is carbon neutral. That gas-to-power project was “low emissions.” Environmentally certified and capable of generating a certain amount of electricity from solar power (if not). And I was interested in producing clean energy.

The corporate regulator said it had no “reasonable basis” to make a statement that was “factually incorrect.”

Tlou paid the fine on October 25th.

The fines come as British and Canadian regulators begin cracking down on greenwashing, while Danish and Dutch companies face private legal action to scrutinize them. their claim.

Greenwash the ruin of progressives and the right

Targeting greenwashing is likely to appeal to both sides of the political pathway, with progressives encouraging companies to properly implement initiatives like Net Zero rather than simply “getting on the bandwagon.” I am eager.

At the same time, those on the right are keen to test the viability of 100% green products and services on the market without the backing of non-environmental factors.

In fact, oil and gas engineer Peter Castle has previously said that the clean energy industry (especially hydrogen) is not completely free from fossil fuel use.

“Green hydrogen is made by separating water (H2O) into oxygen (O2) and hydrogen (H2) and using electricity, which must come from a renewable energy source,” he wrote in the Epoch Times. I’m here.

“Please note that this hydrogen is only ‘green’ for technical reasons. In practice, the electricity is not 100% renewable as it comes from the grid (although insider note: some plants have purchase agreements so they can claim some of the hydrogen). increase). Electricity is part of the renewable part of the current supply mix. ”

Managed funds, on the other hand, accuse them of arguing that they have green credentials while at the same time ensuring that their clients’ interests are preserved by mixing and matching different investment options (green and fossil fuels). It has been.

This has led tech investor Steve Baxter to suggest there is a need for greater disclosure and transparency in these funds, especially those associated with major investment firms like BlackRock.

“If these funds are putting pressure on companies to do things they perceive as underperforming, what are the incentives at work within those funds to push that angle? We have to wonder,” he told the Epoch Times in an email.

“Are they being rewarded for underperforming investments? Are you charging more for (ESG) investing?”

Daniel Y. Teng


Daniel Y. Teng is based in Sydney. His focus is on national politics such as federal politics, the COVID-19 response and Australia-China relations. Any tips? Please contact [email protected]