Energy and climate change

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About the Minerals Council of Australia

The MCA is the leading advocate for Australia's world class minerals industry, promoting and enhancing sustainability, profitability and competitiveness. The MCA represents a world-leading minerals sector that is dynamic, diverse, sustainable and valued by all Australians. Read more.

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The MCA and its members are taking serious action on climate change and are committed to the Paris Agreement and its goal of net zero emissions.

Sustained climate action across all nations is required to reduce the risks of human-induced climate change and to support world-wide decarbonisation as we transform to a lower emissions future.

Our sector improves the lives of millions of people in Australia and overseas through the responsible mining of minerals that are essential for everyday life.

This is a global undertaking of major technological, economic and social challenge in which Australia and the minerals sector must play their part.

To achieve an ambition of net zero emissions in Australia – and reflecting the importance of rapid action –  a stable national policy framework is required that includes:

1. Substantially increased research, development and investment in technologies and processes to reduce mine site emissions

2. Widespread deployment of low and zero emission technologies including consideration of all technologies

3. Credible, verified low cost abatement options, including domestic and international offsets

4. Accelerated development of the minerals required for a low emissions future including aluminium, copper, nickel, zinc, iron, uranium, base metals, lithium, minerals sands, and rare earths

5. Global and domestic partnerships with governments, regulators, customers, technology developers, universities, NGOs and other relevant groups to drive new technologies that cost-effectively reduce emissions

6. Policies that foster continued economic growth and investor confidence in Australia.

The scale of the technology-led transformation required cannot occur without the minerals and raw materials provided by the Australian mining sector.

Our sector is already making major investments to significantly reduce emissions such as renewable energy investments at mine sites and collaborations with partners on low emissions technologies and processes.

Australia’s ability to successfully adapt to climate change will rely on a strong economy including a strong and internationally competitive Australian mining industry.

The MCA’s Climate Action Plan  furthers the minerals sector’s public commitment to addressing climate change on an ongoing basis. It outlines a series of actions focused on three key themes:

1. Support developing technology pathways to achieve significant reductions in Australia’s greenhouse emissions

2. Increased transparency on climate change related reporting and informed advocacy

3. Knowledge sharing of the sector’s responses to addressing climate change.

This plan will be reviewed annually to ensure it remains consistent with Australia’s climate policy ambitions in support of the Paris Agreement.

With this plan, the sector acknowledges the critical importance of technology in reducing emissions. It lays the groundwork for the Australian minerals sector to share its knowledge and support emission reductions within the sector.

The minerals industry has already taken a strong proactive approach on research, development, and deployment of technology applications across our businesses. Major opportunities exist in pursuing decarbonisation including through operational efficiencies, abatement, developing and deploying low emissions technologies including renewables, hydrogen, proven, safe and reliable Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) and advanced nuclear solutions, as well as digitisation, automation, and electrification.

The sector will support the development of cleaner energy options through the development of critical minerals to enable their application as well as taking a lead on commodity stewardship looking at global procurement practices, circular economy, and traceability of commodities through their lifecycle.

Practical and cost-effective options are already being developed and put into action across the minerals value chain.

The sector will play its part so that Australia’s minerals can be sustainably mined, refined and consumed to support more sustainable economic growth and social progress in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the global climate goals of the Paris Agreement.

The Climate Action Plan is part of the ongoing commitment of Australian minerals companies to environmentally sustainable and responsible mining and processing.