In response to the news that Rio Tinto has called for expressions of interest to develop large-scale wind and solar power in central and southern Queensland to power its aluminium production facilities, the Australian Conservation Foundation’s Gladstone campaigner Jaclyn McCosker said:

“This is an important moment for Queensland, with the state’s biggest energy consumer indicating it is serious about using large-scale wind and solar to power its energy-hungry aluminium refineries and smelters.   

“ACF welcomes this announcement and congratulates Rio Tinto for progressing its goal to cut emissions by 50% by 2030.

“Coupled with the news that Australia’s energy ministers have agreed to come up with a national transition plan to phase out fossil fuels, this marks a significant moment in Australian action to tackle climate change.

“Queensland can and should be a renewable energy superpower and central Queensland has all the ingredients to thrive in a low carbon world.

“While this private sector announcement is positive, we also need more action from the Queensland Government to manage the orderly closure of coal-fired power stations and facilitate a just transition plan for workers, their families and communities.

“With a federal target to cut climate pollution by 43% by 2030 and Rio Tinto taking the lead to repower some of Queensland’s most high-emitting projects, the Palaszczuk Government’s 30% by 2030 target is now untenable.

“As a custodian of the Great Barrier Reef, the Wet Tropics and the Gondwana rainforests, we urge the Queensland Government to lift its target and ambition on climate action.”

ACF Media Enquiries

Journalists with enquiries may contact Josh Meadows on 0439 342 992 or Freya Cole on 0477 638 774. For all other enquiries please call 1800 223 669 or email [email protected]