The release of the Australian Government’s response to the Grant King led Expert Panel report examining additional sources of low cost abatement is a significant step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The King Review and the government’s response provide a clear path for reducing emissions, while also taking steps to ensure Australia’s core industries such as mining and minerals processing remain internationally competitive and enabling practical approaches to emissions reduction which recognise Australia as a large energy-intensive country,
Australia’s world-leading resource sector is already at the forefront of developing new low cost ways of reducing greenhouse emissions and helping Australia achieve its Paris target.
The minerals industry is reducing emissions from minerals extraction and processing and investing in low emissions technology and energy efficiency initiatives while increasing the use of renewable energy in operations.
The King Review and the government’s response provides a strong platform to fast-track the development and deployment of low cost abatement technologies including carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), greater use of electric vehicles and advances in minerals processing which could significantly lower Australia’s emissions and help meet Paris Agreement goals more quickly at lower cost.
In particular, CCUS is a safe, proven and reliable technology already in use in Australia and many sites around the world which has significant potential to reduce emissions when used for hydrogen production, electricity generation and industrial processes such as cement manufacturing.
Building on the existing climate policy framework, the Review encourages companies to reduce emissions in ways that work for them while creating incentives for all sectors to contribute to meeting Australia’s international climate change obligations.
The future facilitation of co-investment programs by the CEFC and ARENA to accelerate technologies with high potential in ‘hard to abate’ sectors – including fugitive emissions – based on a technology-neutral approach is a welcome development.
The global transition to low emissions technologies – including solar, wind, batteries, gas, advanced coal with CCUS and nuclear energy – depends on the metals and raw materials provided by the minerals sector.
A thriving minerals sector focused on effective and pragmatic climate action is essential to mobilise the solutions required to address climate change.