We have expanded the list of climate policies we assess company engagement with to incorporate land-use related policy, referring to legislative or regulatory measures to enhance and protect ecosystems and land where carbon is being stored. Assessments under this category are currently underweighted in terms of their contribution to the overall company metrics. This weighting will be progressively increased over the next 6 months.
We adjusted the terminology used to describe the queries running down the left-hand side of our scoring matrix and added additional explanatory text to the info-boxes. This has no impact on the scores and methodology. It has been done following user feedback to improve clarity.
Climate Lobbying Overview: The Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA (CME) appears to be broadly unsupportive of ambitious action on climate change. CME has actively lobbied against reform to Australian climate policy in 2020. The association appears to be more supportive of the energy transition in 2020-2022, however it also appears to support the role of liquified natural gas in the energy mix.
Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: CME’s top-line communications on climate change appear to be mixed. On its ‘Climate Change’ webpage, accessed in September 2022, CME expressed support for the Paris Agreement and its goals of limiting warming to well-below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C. On the same webpage, the association supported achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, and no later than 2050, in order to reach the Paris Agreements temperature goals. However, the group's support for government regulations to achieve this appears to be limited; on several occasions in 2020 CME expressed preference for a market-based mechanism in response to climate change, and did not support mechanisms in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act that address GHG emissions.
Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: While the Chamber of Minerals and Energy has been actively engaged on climate related regulations in the past, its transparent engagement from 2020-2022 is more limited. In an April 2022 Mining Weekly article, CME supported Prime Minister Scott Morrisons promise to cease the implementation of any new carbon taxes on the mining industry should Morrison be re-elected in 2022. Additionally, in April 2020 CME directly advocated to policymakers in its submission to the EPBC Act to exclude greenhouse gas emissions requirements from the policy, while also supporting weaker GHG emission standards to give LNG and other projects confidence in the economic recovery from COVID-19, according to the Australian Financial Review in 2020.
Positioning on Energy Transition: The CME appears to be more supportive of the energy transition in 2020-2022 compared to pre-2020, however it does appear to support the role of liquified natural gas (LG) in the energy mix. In a March 2022 Australian Mining report, the CME supported Western Australia’s Greenhouse Gas Storage and Transport Bill which aims to facilitate decarbonization in Western Australia’s mining and natural gas industries. In 2020-21, CME supported policies to develop the lithium-ion battery industry, green hydrogen production, and low carbon technologies across the state of Western Australia. However, in an August 2022 media release, acting-CEO Ron Carruthers supported the development of Pluto Train 2, an LNG train in Western Australia, stating that the development would be a “major provider of essential energy … for decades to come”.
In November 2021, CME released a report titled Towards Competitive Clean Hydrogen. In the report, the association appeared to strongly support the role of green and blue hydrogen in hard-to-abate sectors including transport and heavy industry, and also broadly supported the Western Australia Renewable Hydrogen Strategy. However, in the same report CME expressed ambiguity towards the types of hydrogen it supported. It referenced ‘clean hydrogen’, stating that their definition of clean hydrogen was technology agnostic; it is therefore unclear if ‘clean hydrogen’ is limited to green/blue hydrogen, or if it includes unabated fossil fuel production to produce hydrogen. CME also stated that government support and funding for hydrogen should take a technology-agnostic approach, which again is unclear as to what extent the association supports decarbonization hydrogen production.