NSW Minerals Council

InfluenceMap Score
for Climate Policy Engagement
Performance Band
Organization Score
Metals & Mining
Sydney, Australia
Official Web Site:

Climate Policy Engagement Overview: The NSW Minerals Council (NSWMC) appears to negatively engage with climate policy in Australia, particularly on federal and state planning legislation. NSWMC has also actively supported a sustained role for coal in the energy mix in Australia.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: NSWMC’s top-line messaging on climate change appears to be broadly positive, albeit limited. The association appears to communicate support for both the NSW and Australian Government’s net-zero by 2050 targets in its Energy, Climate Change and Emissions Policy, last updated December 2021. This support for the NSW Government’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 is reiterated in NSWMC’s June 2022 submission to the ‘Securing future innovation and global competitiveness in NSW Green Paper’. NSWMC also appears to back Australia’s participation in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change process in its Energy, Climate Change and Emissions Policy. In this same policy statement NSWMC also appeared to call for a climate policy framework, although with significant exceptions: NSWMC appeared to favor a market-based approach, supporting “least cost” abatement and emphasizing the need to protect trade competitiveness.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: NSWMC appears to have had limited engagement on specific climate-related policy in 2020–2022. In 2022, NSWMC appeared to oppose reforms to the Safeguard Mechanism in both its own response to the September 2022 consultation and in its support of the Minerals Council of Australia’s submission. Engagement by the association has otherwise been limited to advocacy from 2020 and early-2021. For example, in a joint submission on the Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) in April 2020, NSWMC directly advocated to exclude greenhouse gas emissions requirements from the legislation. In February 2021, the Sydney Morning Herald also reported that NSWMC advocated to repeal provisions of the EPBC Act which extend special legal privileges to community groups to challenge federal environmental project approvals.

Positioning on Energy Transition: NSWMC is a strong proponent of a sustained role for coal in the energy mix. In June 2022, NSWMC CEO Stephen Galilee supported a slower paced transition than advised by the IPCC, stating that technology to replace coal and gas "is not ready yet", and that the closure of coal-fired power plants is happening before the renewables to replace them are ready. In a July 2022 Daily Mail article, Galilee also supported the extension of the Mt. Arthur coal mine closure date to 2040. Additionally, in its climate change position statement on its corporate website, accessed in July 2022, NSWMC supported a role for “advanced coal” in the future energy mix alongside gas and low emission technologies such as renewables and batteries, without specific reference to the need for CCS. Furthermore, in an April 2021 response to a Parliamentary Inquiry into the regulation of investment in Australia’s export industries, NSWMC also criticized financial institutions which phased out coal financing, arguing there would be strong demand for Australian coal for decades.

NSWMC has also actively engaged with government for support for the mining industry in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In July 2020, it published a report titled ‘Mining for the Recovery’ which advocated for the approval of 21 coal projects to aid NSW’s economic recovery. In August 2020, NSWMC’s Pre-Budget Submission to the NSW Government called for support for the development of new coal projects and opposed any new fees or levies in the mining industry.

Details of Organization Score