Andrew Forrest calls for a move to green hydrogen “on a global scale” in ABC Boyer Lectures

Leading philanthropist and businessman Dr Andrew Forrest AO says Australia is perfectly placed to become a world leader in the production of green hydrogen energy.

Dr Forrest, the Founder and Chairman of Fortescue Metals Group, urged immediate action in the ABC’s annual Boyer Lectures, presented at the ABC’s Perth studios on Thursday 21 January.

In his first ABC Boyer Lecture “Oil vs Water: Confessions of a Carbon Emitter”, Dr Forrest said the solution to the successful replacement of fossil fuels with green energy lay with hydrogen. He said the question “wasn’t whether or not green hydrogen would become the next global energy form, but who would be the first to mass produce it.”

Dr Forrest announced in the lecture that Fortescue aimed to become one of the world’s biggest renewable energy production businesses “to catalyse a global solution to climate change by rapidly increasing the supply of green energy”.

Having recently returned to Australia from a trip which saw him visit 47 countries in four months, Dr Forrest said he had felt a change in the global mood and seen a “genuine thirst” from sovereign leaders, business people, politicians, financiers and technology developers for a rapid shift to green energy.

The lecture will be broadcast on ABC TV on Saturday 23 January at 2.30pm except for WA where it will be broadcast at 1.30pm. It will also be broadcast on Radio National on 24 January at 12noon and available on iview and via the ABC listen app.

Dr Forrest’s lecture series, titled “Rebooting Australia: How ethical entrepreneurs can help shape a better future” will call for collaboration between big business, philanthropists and governments to drive positive change on multiple fronts, including global warming, overfishing, plastics pollution, Indigenous inequality and the growing gap between rich and poor nations.

ABC Chair Ita Buttrose said: “The genesis of a great idea lies in its capacity to challenge convention. Dr Forrest’s ABC Boyer Lectures will similarly confound stereotypes – an iron ore miner calling for zero net carbon emissions, a billionaire railing against inequality, a capitalist making an impassioned plea for the public good.

“At a time of such global uncertainty, his bold optimism for the future of Australia is a welcome addition to the national discourse and to the important role that the ABC Boyer Lectures have played in driving discussion and debate for more than sixty years.”

The ABC Boyer Lectures, which began in 1959, are given each year by a prominent Australian to present critical ideas on major social, cultural, scientific or political issues.

The presentation of the 2020 ABC Boyer Lectures in Perth was delayed from November 2020 to January 2021, due to COVID-19 border closures and restrictions.

Join the debate: #BoyerLectures or abc.net.au/boyerlectures

You can read Dr Forrest’s first lecture “Oil vs Water: Confessions of a Carbon Emitter” here.

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