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Australian resources minister addresses global energy transition

Friday, November 4th, 2022

The second day of IMARC has seen keynote speakers address the global energy transition, including Australia’s role in the process.
Federal Minister for resources Madeleine King

The second day of the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) has seen keynote speakers address the global energy transition, including Australia’s role in the process.

Federal Minister for resources Madeleine King said Australia has “an unmissable opportunity and a remarkable responsibility” to help lead the global transition to a decarbonised future.

Mining is fundamental to the energy transition, King said, calling on Australia’s leadership to help drive change, while providing the exports, regional investment, jobs and First Nations employment opportunities that make the sector one of the most important industries in the country.

“The Australian resources sector and the great value of the exceptional natural endowment of this country dwarfs all other industries,” King said.

“It represents 70 per cent of our exports, 10 per cent of our GDP and around $450 billion in economic activity in this financial year alone.

“It currently employs a record 285,000 Australians and generates around $43 billion annually in the taxes and royalties that provide the essential services the country needs.

“But this does not all happen by luck. It takes people and their ingenuity and determination and commitment to create the industry that has become the backbone of Australia’s economy.”

King’s speech was echoed by an IMARC panel discussion focusing on energy transition and decarbonisation. IBM vice president sustainability software solutions David Solsky led the panel discussion, saying “we are on the verge of the biggest transformation of the global economy in a century”.

Minter Ellison head of climate risk governance Sarah Barker said she was “certain” the energy transition is going to happen.

“What is unknown is when or how,” she said. “We do know, however, transitions are not linear, they tend to be bumpy.”

But the transition is not without risk, warned Whitehaven Coal executive general manager, corporate, government and community Michael van Maanen.

van Mannen understands the social and economic imperative of transitioning to green and renewable energy, but believes the transition must not come at the expense of exponentially higher power prices.

King said that the recent energy crisis highlights the importance of gas and coal in Australia’s economy, as well as those of “our regional neighbours”,” King said.

“Our gas and coal play a critical role in meeting global energy demand and providing our neighbours with secure and dependable energy sources.”

The speeches surrounding energy transition will continue today as IMARC 2022 wraps up in Sydney.

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