While the policy does not focus on scope 3 emissions, one of its aims is to improve climate risk reporting, which will include reporting on the industry’s exposure to the “transition risks” of climate change.
These include government policies to reduce emissions in key markets such as China, Japan, and India.
This is embarrassing and woefully inadequate … What type of plan is this without any dates or targets?
— Dan Gocher, ACCCR head of climate
MCA chief executive Tania Constable said: “With this plan, the sector acknowledges the critical importance of technology in reducing emissions. The minerals industry works with manufacturing and innovation partners to invent, develop and deploy new techniques and technologies.
“It is clear that the scale of the technology-led transformation required will not occur without the minerals and raw materials provided by the Australian mining sector.
“The industry sees great opportunities for minerals such as lithium, cobalt and copper in all forms of transport infrastructure, communications and energy systems.”
The policy comes after a tumultuous year in which mining giant BHP’s membership of the Minerals Council came under intense scrutiny with a shareholder resolution calling on the company, which is the council’s most powerful member, to suspend membership over its position on climate change.
The resolution did not pass, but it received some substantial backing, including from major international investors including Aberdeen Standard Investments and AXA IM, as well as local super funds Cbus, Hostplus and Hesta.
The lack of a direct policy on scope 3 emissions and target date to hit net zero immediately drew criticism from the Australian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, the group behind the shareholder resolution.
“This is embarrassing and woefully inadequate: the MCA can’t even commit to net zero emissions by any date. What type of plan is this without any dates or targets?” said ACCCR head of climate Dan Gocher.