The Australian Aluminium Council represents the Australian bauxite, alumina, aluminium, extrusion and distribution industries. Members of the Council also have their own climate change positions (https://aluminium.org.au/about/list-of-members/).
The Australian Aluminium Council supports the Paris Agreement. The Council acknowledges the scientific evidence of global warming reported over time by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and supports the need for a global response to the threat of climate change. Consistent with this, the Council believes Australia should aim for carbon neutrality in the second half of the century, with developed countries leading the global transition.
In a carbon-constrained future, increasing quantities of aluminium will be used globally as living standards improve, transport systems become more efficient and innovative lightweight construction systems are favoured. As a strong and lightweight material that can be infinitely recycled, aluminium can help society significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. As the world’s largest producer of bauxite and largest exporter of alumina, and with a wealth of energy resources, Australia should be well placed to capitalise on these competitive advantages.
The Council seeks a national climate and energy policy framework which is transparent, stable and predictable, while maintaining the economic health of the nation including vital import and export competing industries. The Council will continue to play a constructive role in the development of Australia’s climate, energy and industry policies, in support of the mineral processing and value adding manufacturing sectors in Australia. The Council supports a technology neutral and least cost approach to the transition. Alumina and aluminium are emissions-intensive and trade-exposed (EITE) products. The industry seeks to prevent inconsistent application of carbon pricing across jurisdictions as this may create significant competitive distortions, as some facilities face carbon pricing while others remain unconstrained.
The Council does not look at the opportunities for development and application of low emissions technology in Australia in isolation of the global industry. The industry is currently developing new technologies and articulating a range of costed industry specific pathways, which will inform this transition. The largest opportunities for abatement of the aluminium industry are to transition Australia’s electricity supply to low emissions, recognising the critical role firming technologies, including those provided by aluminium smelters, will play in ensuring that this is done while maintaining reliability and meeting Australia’s emission targets.
It is essential during this transition, Australia retains major industrial loads, through these short- and medium-term challenges, to ensure Australia can capitalise on its long-term strategic advantages. The Council believes the single most effective mechanism to assist in transition of the sector is to ensure that low emissions electricity is delivered reliably and at an internationally competitive price. Critical to this transition will be a future where Australia’s world class energy resources are translated into internationally competitive, low emissions, reliable energy to ensure industrial production, emissions and jobs are not exported to other countries.
The Australian Aluminium Council is an active member of the Australian Climate Roundtable, which further highlights our industry’s commitment to sustainability.