Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto Group praised the Australian government’s new emissions-reduction policy last week for the support it will offer to the country’s heavy industries, including bauxite mining.
Australia’s new policy will begin on July 1 and require the country’s most prolific carbon emitters to reduce their carbon production by 4.9 percent each year through the end of the decade. The policy is aimed at encouraging better production practices, but it will also allow firms to achieve their carbon production cuts by purchasing carbon credits as well.
Speaking at the unveiling of the plan last week, Federal Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen said that the plan was created with a specific intent in mind.
“These proposed reforms have been carefully calibrated to deliver the policy certainty and support Australian industry needs through decarbonisation.”
“We’ve been extremely encouraged by the level of engagement in the process to date and look forward to continued constructive engagement as we finalise the design of these critical reforms for Australia’s net-zero pathway,” he continued.
Meanwhile, Rio Tinto Australian chief executive Kellie Parker lauded Canberra for its support of the nation’s heavy industry.
“We will need to work through the details to see exactly what it means for all of our assets, but the Government’s climate ambitions align with our own commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050 and our plans to decarbonise our Gladstone assets to meet our group climate targets.”
“We really appreciate the support of government as we pursue the decarbonisation of our assets,” she continued.
However, Tania Constable, CEO of the Minerals Council of Australia was somewhat less enthusiastic, warning that compliance costs may jeopardize the competitiveness of the country’s bauxite and other mineral exports on the global market.
“We want to see an approach that puts Australia on a pathway to that 2030 target, but we need to keep our trade-exposed export industries strong and competitive,” noted Constable.