Twiggy Forrest sets sights on making the impossible possible when it comes to ‘pure green energy’
In the second half of last year, while most of the world was in pandemic lockdown, Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest and a team of 50 staff did what others couldn’t. He spent five months crisscrossing the globe in a private jet, visiting more than 40 countries.
It set Australia’s second-richest person on a path to an outcome that, if delivered, could transform the energy landscape of not just Australia, but the globe.
The iron ore billionaire says after his private discussions with sovereign leaders, politicians, business people and investors across the world he was convinced of their “genuine thirst for our green energy”.
“It made me strongly, and no longer hesitantly, optimistic,” he told Guardian Australia. “I felt a change in the global mood, a shift in belief, that the impossible could be possible.”
Forrest’s response was to announce in November that his Fortescue Metals Group would aggressively support zero-emissions energy through its new green arm, Fortescue Future Industries.
The initial pledge was that it would back 235 gigawatts of clean energy capacity – more than three times the entire Australian electricity grid – across the globe, with $1bn committed over the next two years. Four months on, that has expanded to a promise to explore more than 500GW of hydro, geothermal, wind and solar with a goal of being involved in the creation of 1,000GW.