What some fail to acknowledge is that refusing to go green comes with severe penalties. Using carbon-intensive energy to process our ores and metals will meet with stiff carbon border tariffs and end-user resistance in a world that is poised to find selling carbon-intensive products increasingly difficult.
Producing carbon-free primary iron and green aluminium is there for the taking – provided we place the correct emphasis on the combination of solar, wind and storage, our world-leading SWS endowment. In the case of our iron-ore, its high quality already earns us a world-leading price premium. In future, our SWS can provide the green hydrogen to elevate our iron still further. The smart approach is a globally competitive green approach.
Decarbonised iron is also key in greening our steel production, and, once again, SWS can facilitate such progressions. As Hilton Trollip, Bryce McCall and Chris Bataille point out in a recent paper, greening our iron would pave the way for collaborative, global industrial-sector decarbonisation. The general economic benefits would include the underpinning of a just transition away from carbon-intensive activities. There is no doubt about it, our wonderful SWS endowment positions us superbly to adopt a green approach to absolutely everything we do, and at the same time generate employment, reduce inequality and diminish poverty.