19 June 2018
Commenting on the latest report commissioned by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA): ‘Market Demand Study: Australian Export Thermal Coal’, Daniel Gocher, Director of Climate & Environment, Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility said:
“These overly optimistic forecasts about long-term growth in Asian thermal coal import demand are completely at odds with the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario, which forecasts a 54 per cent decline in global coal demand by 2040, from a 2015 baseline.
“Such optimism is clearly designed to influence the approvals process for new and expanded thermal coal mines, particularly those planned for Queensland’s Galilee Basin.
“Once again, the MCA has undermined its own climate policy, by commissioning a report, and amplifying the falsehoods contained therein. This is on the back of an unending stream of pro-coal statements by the MCA in the media in the past six months.
“BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, as the MCA’s largest members, committed to investors that the MCA would take a ‘technology neutral’ approach to climate policy. This is clearly not the case, as the MCA continues to advocate for coal above all other forms of energy.
“Such advocacy for coal is an impediment to the growth of renewables in South-East Asia, which poses a significant risk to investors, particularly if coal is entrenched in those markets for decades to come.
“It is clear that BHP and Rio Tinto have not been able to rein in the MCA’s vociferous and unrelenting support for coal, even at such a critical time in the national debate on climate and energy policy. BHP and Rio Tinto must withdraw from the MCA altogether if Australia is to have any chance at moving beyond the decade long energy policy stalemate, and meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement.”