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Mining industry leaders have welcomed the Australian Government’s decision to deliver net-zero emissions by 2050.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor this week released Australia’s Long Term Emissions Reduction Plan to deliver net zero emissions by 2050, while preserving Australian jobs and generating new opportunities for industries and regional Australia

“The technology-driven plan sets out a credible pathway to net zero by 2050, while preserving our existing industries, establishing Australia as a leader in low emissions technologies, and positioning our regions to prosper,” Morrison said.

Minerals Council of Australia chief executive officer Tania Constable said the plan will ensure national climate policy stability and certainty over the medium to long term for the Australian mining sector and its customers.

“The government’s technology roadmap will help achieve Australia’s emission reduction targets,” Constable said.

“The Australian minerals industry supports an ambition of net zero emissions by 2050.

“The MCA’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) focuses both on developing the technologies that will be needed to drive down emissions in our sector, and developing the minerals and resources needed for the low emissions technologies Australia and its trading partners require.

“Australian mining companies are taking action now and investing in activities which will drive down emissions and in turn, sustain jobs and the communities in which they operate.”

The plan focusses on driving down technology costs and accelerating their deployment at scale across the economy.

Wood Mackenzie Asia Pacific head of markets and transitions Prakash Sharma said Australia’s desire to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 was a step in the right direction.

“The country’s major trading partners – China, Japan, and South Korea – are already in transition towards that goal,” Sharma said.

“Other major energy exporters such as Russia and Saudi Arabia also announced net zero goals by 2060 in recent weeks. This means Australia will need to retool its commodity exports industry to align with the Paris climate targets.

“Our analysis shows that Australia can reach net zero emissions by 2050. Although the pathway requires complete transformation of its traditional energy and export sectors, there are significant opportunities to capitalise on and protect future revenues.

“This will require Australia to become a significant player in low-carbon hydrogen trade as well as being able to offer carbon storage and offset services.”

Taylor said Australia’s emissions reduction story had been one of consistent achievement, and the plan had been designed for Australia.

“Our plan continues the policies and initiatives that we have already put in place and that have proven to be successful, while preserving existing industries and jobs, and supporting regional Australia,” Taylor said.

“It will not shut down coal or gas production, or require displacement of productive agricultural land.

“Between 2005 and 2021, Australia’s emissions fell by 20.8 per cent, outpacing the reductions of the United States, Canada and New Zealand, and every other major commodity exporting nation in the world.”