Australia, Japan agree critical minerals pact

  • Market: Electricity, Fertilizers, Hydrogen, Metals
  • 25/10/22

Australia and Japan have agreed a critical minerals pact, setting out a commercial framework under which Australia will supply Japan with rare earths, lithium and other materials used for manufacturing low-emissions energy technology such as batteries, wind turbines and solar panels.

The agreement will help develop Australia's domestic critical minerals sector and supply Japan's advanced manufacturing industry, as well as helping both countries meet their respective greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese said.

The pact follows on from talks in Sydney in July between Australia, Japan, India and the US – the four members of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) - about setting up supply chains for clean energy systems that do not rely on non-democratic nations.

Australia and Japan have deep trading ties, particularly in energy. Japan was key to the development of Australia's LNG sector and remains one of its largest customers, while the two countries have a similar development and trading relationship in Australia's iron ore and thermal and coking coal sectors.

The partnership is a natural progression of Australia's role as a stable and reliable supplier of minerals and energy to Japan, and underlines Australia's growing role as a global supplier of critical minerals, Australian resources minister Madeleine King said.

The pact was announced after Albanese met with Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida in Perth, where they also discussed economic and national security issues.

"The leaders recognised climate change is a major security and economic challenge for the region, as well as a source of economic opportunity in new clean energy industries and trade and committed to deepen co-operation on climate as a priority," Albanese and Kishida said in a joint statement.

Japan and Australia also pledged to work together towards effectively implementing their respective Paris Agreement commitments and to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The two leaders pledged to continue to support initiatives that will advance clean energy technologies and supply chains, including hydrogen and ammonia, under the Japan-Australia Partnership on decarbonisation through technology, as well as through regional multilateral initiatives including the Quad.

Australian and Japanese firms are working on several joint projects to produce hydrogen in Australia for shipment to Japan.

Albanese and Kishida also said they would help build capacity for Indo-Pacific countries to meet their transparency commitments and advance high-integrity carbon markets under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which targets the development of an international carbon permit trading market.


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