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Mining magnate Andrew Forrest takes a dig at Federal fossil fuel funding

October 6, 2021

Mining magnate Andrew Forrest takes a dig at Federal fossil fuel funding

Fortescue Metals head Andrew Forrest has taken aim at funding for carbon capture technology and ‘blue’ hydrogen, telling journalists at a recent conference they are just ways to disguise money for fossil fuels.

Fortescue Metals head Andrew Forrest has taken aim at funding for carbon capture technology and ‘blue’ hydrogen, telling journalists at a recent conference they are just ways to disguise money for fossil fuels.

Speaking at the Reuters Impact climate conference, Mr Forrest condemned the ‘net zero by 2050’ target that sits at the heart of the upcoming COP26 climate summit in Glasgow as a ‘smokescreen’ that relied on the idea that carbon emissions can be effectively buried or offset. 

“It’s not going to happen,” he said.

“Carbon capture and storage, despite having received billions of subsidies for decades, remains an unproven failure, far from commercial viability.”

There are currently 20 carbon capture and storage plants operating globally, and collectively these process only 0.4% of carbon emitted by power stations and industrial processes.

Even so, the Australian Government has committed $250 million to design potential carbon capture hubs and support research and commercialisation of the technology. 

Although Mr Forrest backs the use of hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuels, he cautioned that the use of ‘blue’ hydrogen by some countries faced the same problems as coal, oil and gas because it is generated using power from fossil fuel sources.

To transition to an ‘absolute zero’ carbon emitting economy (as opposed to the ‘net zero’ one proposed by COP26 nations) would require ‘green’ hydrogen produced from renewable sources.

“Blue hydrogen is not ‘clean’ and, tragically, most governments – without a scintilla of science – are throwing tens of billions of dollars in subsidies at it,” Mr Forrest said.

Meanwhile Fortescue, through its wholly owned clean energy company Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), has unveiled plans to build a 250-megawatt green hydrogen plant in Tasmania’s Bell Bay.

FFI is also investigating possible green hydrogen projects in India through a joint venture with JSW Energy, a leading Indian energy company with a pipeline of renewable energy projects expected to generate 2.5 gigawatts of power.  

Sources:


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