Australia’s peak mining lobby group will release a road map to cut carbon emissions as it throws its support behind the Paris agreement.
The Minerals Council of Australia wants to use clean energy and electric vehicles at mines across the country.
“This is a time for action, instead of vague virtue-signalling about future ambitions without the courage to outline concrete plans,” chief executive Tania Constable said on Monday.
But the council still supports building new “cleaner” coal plants.
“These technologies exist today and can make for a sustainable future for coal which is consistent with the climate goals of the Paris agreement,” Ms Constable said.
Australia is a signatory to the agreement, committing the country to a 26 to 28 per cent reduction in emissions on 2005 levels by 2030.
The Minerals Council’s three-year plan is expected to help major mining companies compete while assuaging community concerns on climate change.
“The interests of the mining sector naturally align with Australia’s national interest,” Ms Constable said.
She said climate change posed risks and opportunities for the sector with sustained action needed to dampen its effects.
The council will set up an independent advisory panel to coach it on how to decarbonise.
It will also consider opening the mining industry’s books to the public, with shareholders to get more information on climate change-related risks affecting companies.
“The (Climate Action Plan) will not get us to where we need to be overnight and it does not hold all the answers,” Ms Constable said.
“But it does prepare us well to reduce emissions in the short term and ultimately drive them to net zero in the longer term.”