The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has released a report by advisory firm, Commodity Insights, on the outlook for thermal coal demand in the Asia Pacific region.
Chief Executive Officer of the MCA, Tania Constable, noted that the report presents a challenge to work harder to reduce emissions in the region to meet Paris Agreement goals, including through the use of technology such as carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS).
The report updates 2018 analysis of seaborne thermal coal demand in the Asia Pacific region to 2030 and forecasts that Asian thermal coal imports will grow by over 270 million tonnes (Mt) to 1.1 billion tonnes per annum over the next decade.
The forecast is sensitive to assumptions about technology costs and additional steps countries may take to respond to climate change.
Ms Constable said Australian thermal coal is amongst the highest quality in the world, enabling more energy to be produced with less carbon dioxide emitted per kilowatt-hour of electricity.
“It is critically important to achieve global net-zero emissions, and there are clearly challenges ahead in the Asia-Pacific region in relation to emissions reduction, requiring consideration of low-emissions technologies such as CCUS, renewables, gas and nuclear power to meet Paris Agreement goals,” she said.
“Australia’s minerals industry has commenced implementation of the MCA Climate Action Plan, focused on driving low-emissions technology within operations and across mine sites, transparency and reporting and knowledge sharing.”
Ms Constable added that as the world recovers from COVID-19 and works towards a net zero emissions future, Australian minerals companies will play a central role in providing the resources needed to grow sustainably in the coming decades.
“In 2019-20, Australia’s exports of thermal and metallurgical (steel-making) coal were worth $54.6 billion which was 11.5 per cent of Australia’s total export revenue ($474.8 billion),” she said. “An update of the medium-term outlook for metallurgical coal is expected in 2021.”