Andrew Forrest challenges boards, CEOs to quit fossil fuels

Andrew Forrest founded Fortescue Metals Group in 2003. (Image from: Daily Telegraph video)

Corporations must stop leaning on terms like ESG and sustainability and spend real money replacing fossil fuels with clean energy, said Australian billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest.

“Chief executives and chairmen now no longer have an excuse not to step beyond fossil fuel,” he said in a television interview on the sidelines of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore. “Let’s hold chairmen to account, let’s hold chairmen of remuneration committees to account.”

Forrest, who is founder and chairman of iron ore producer Fortescue Metals Group, said the technology already exists to decarbonize the majority of sectors, and all that was required was for companies to invest the capital.

“We’ve got to pivot from these fancy, almost greenwashing words like ‘sustainabilty’ and ‘ESG,’ we’ve actually got to move beyond fossil fuels,” he said. He dismissed claims that the current energy crisis was a result of underinvestment in fossil fuels, saying a lack of investment in energy more broadly was the cause.

In September, Fortescue committed to spending $6.2 billion over the next decade to decarbonize its Australian mining operations entirely by 2030. Fortescue Future Industries, the clean energy arm of Fortescue, aims to produce 15 million tons of green hydrogen by 2030, which would require the construction of hundreds of gigawatts of new wind and solar generation at a possible cost of hundreds of billions of dollars.

(By James Fernyhough)

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