Frustrated mining mogul Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest ran to national politicians, who he said were “able to hear the facts” about the coal industry, but chose to ignore them in the pursuit of votes.
Mr Forrest, chairman of Fortescue Metals, stood by the New South Wales government yesterday when it announced that A $ 3 billion green hydrogen plan behind which stands a billionaire.
He said production green hydrogen Renewable energy fuel could provide jobs for people currently working in coal, oil and gas as the country moves away from fossil fuels.
“We need all these skills from coal miners, oil and gas … these are exactly the careers we need right now to build our green hydrogen future,” Forrest told ABC.
But in talks with federal leader Barnaby Joyce and Deputy Bridget McKenzie soon after yesterday’s announcement, Mr. Forrest expressed frustration with the pair and accused some national politicians of focusing more on their own jobs.
“We must stop scaring Australians, we must stop scaring,” Mr Forrest said.
“You could break a few more votes in the upcoming election, but after that upcoming election you will see what you are like: just a fighter for fear trying to save your political work, not the work of all regional Australians.”
The federal government is currently considering whether to commit to achieving the goal net zero carbon emissions by 2050something that most of the developed world has already adopted.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison hopes to reach an agreement ahead of an international climate conference in Glasgow next month, but his coalition partners from the Nationals are reluctant.
Forrest pours water on the government’s “pure” hydrogen hopes
Mr Morrison said the government hoped to achieve carbon neutrality “if possible” by 2050 through a combination of emerging technologies and tax-free.
Energy Secretary Angus Taylor has previously promoted “pure” hydrogen – produced from fossil fuels, but with limited emissions by carbon capture and storage – as a model for achieving zero zero.
But Mr Forrest said that even if the government committed to pure zero, the plan to use “clean” hydrogen and carbon capture technology would not work.
“Angus [Taylor] and we had a chat and I agreed not to say, “Carbon capture and storage will fail 19 out of 20 cases,” Forrest told ABC.
“To compromise, I agreed to say, ‘It will fail, and rightly so, 9 out of 10 times. “
Mr Forrest said the transition from coal should be led by the government and the country’s largest energy producers.
“If people like me don’t change, if I don’t lead from the front … we need people like me and everyone to lead the way.”
ABC contacted Angus Taylor and Bridget McKenzie for comments.