Queensland Resources Council (QRC)

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Metals & Mining
Brisbane, Australia
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Queensland Resources Council (QRC) appears to have a highly negative position on climate change and the energy transition. QRC has actively lobbied against ambitious reform to Australian climate policy, and continues to support a role for fossil fuels, including coal and gas, in the energy mix.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: QRC’s top-line communications on climate change appear to have improved in 2021. In its latest position statement on energy and climate change, updated in March 2021, QRC explicitly supported the Paris Agreement and the need to limit global warming to “well below” 2°C. As of August 2021, QRC has also supported Queensland’s net-zero by 2050 target and called for federal and state policies to respond to climate change on its corporate website. In an October 2021 press release, CEO Ian Macfarlane supported the need to limit global warming to 1.5°C in line with the Paris Agreement.

However, in its March 2021 position statement on energy and climate change, QRC qualified its support for climate regulation by emphasizing the need to prioritize “least cost” abatement and to protect trade competitiveness, favoring a market-based approach. In a November 2021 press release, CEO Ian Macfarlane supported net-zero by 2050, but appeared to emphasize climate solutions and pathways that heavily rely on technology to reduce GHG emissions. In response to the 2020 Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, QRC also opposed the consideration of climate change and emissions reductions under Australia's landmark environmental legislation.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: QRC appears to have had limited engagement on specific climate-related policy in 2020-21, except the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). In a joint submission on the Review of the EPBC Act in April 2020, QRC directly advocated to exclude greenhouse gas emissions requirements from the legislation. In May 2020, QRC opposed the EPBC Amendment (Climate Trigger) Bill, which proposed the introduction of a “climate trigger” to consider greenhouse gas emissions requirements under the legislation.

Positioning on Energy Transition: QRC is actively engaged on the energy transition and is a vocal advocate for the long-term role for fossil fuels in the global and Australian energy mix, including coal. In a June 2022 media release and August 2022 Mining Weekly article, QRC CEO Ian Macfarlane opposed Queensland's decision to remove a ten-year freeze on coal royalties, calling the move a "foolish decision" that will create job losses and project cancellations. In a February 2022 press release, Macfarlane also stated that QRC had engaged with the Queensland State Government to support coal and gas under the state's draft Resources Industry Development Plan, alongside hydrogen and ammonia. Furthermore, in an August 2022 media release, MacFarlane strongly supported the investment of $1 billion by Senex to develop fossil gas infrastructure in the Surat Basin (Western Queensland). Macfarlane stated that “gas will be increasingly important for Australia and our trading partners” and that the investments were the “best path forward to shoring up Australia’s energy security”.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, QRC published a Resource Industry Recovery Agenda in June 2020 which called for government support of $500 million for new gas pipeline infrastructure, incentives for further coal and gas exploration, amnesties from changes to royalties and taxes, and significant deregulation of the mining industry. In April 2020, CEO Ian Macfarlane wrote a letter to the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy seeking deferrals on fees for coal companies and “fast-tracking” of new brownfield coal developments to assist the economic recovery from COVID-19. In August 2020, QRC released a TV advertising campaign in the run-up to the Queensland State elections promoting the benefits of the mining and gas industry.

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