Glencore says it will cap its global coal production around current levels as part of a commitment to transitioning to a low-carbon economy.
The move has been described as significant for the coal pricing outlook.
Wood Mackenzie’s research director Prakash Sharma said Glencore was the world’s largest exporter of thermal coal and had a dominant position in the premium thermal coal segment.
“In that regard, capping coal production is significant because prices could remain high amid tighter supplies. Glencore is chasing value over volume,” he said.
“In a 2-degree scenario, premium thermal coal demand is expected to be resilient compared to other coal types. That means companies holding on to high energy thermal coal assets stand to gain and will realise higher prices. Glencore sits comfortably in that space due to its competitive cost position.”
Glencore’s statement this week read, in part;”We recognise climate change science as set out by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We believe that the global response to climate change should pursue twin objectives: both limiting temperatures in line with the goals of Articles 2.1(a) and 4.1 of the Paris Agreement and supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including universal access to affordable energy.
“To deliver a strong investment case to our shareholders, we must invest in assets that will be resilient to regulatory, physical and operational risks related to climate change.
“To meet the growing needs of a lower carbon economy, Glencore aims to prioritise its capital investment to grow production of commodities essential to the energy and mobility transition and to limit its coal production capacity broadly to current levels.”
Glencore’s Queensland coal operations include Clermont, Collinsville, Hail Creek, Newlands, Oaky Creek and Rolleston.