Andrew ’Twiggy Forrest calls on China leader Xi Jinping to come to summit

China is responsible for 27 per cent of global emissions – more than all the world’s developed nations combined.

The absence of such a key piece of the international climate puzzle is one of several factors behind growing fears that the summit will fail.

“If I counselled him, I would say absolutely come,” Forrest said of Xi. “And I’d also say you should be vocal about the achievements your country has made. Your country is leading in the renewable sector. You’ve made enormous investments and I would put that on show.”

Forrest said China would achieve carbon neutrality before its formal policy of 2060.

“From what I see happening in China – particularly among the younger generation – there’s a very strong will to have carbon-neutral power and a wonderment as to why it’s not being done quicker.

“And one thing which the Chinese government is incredibly good at doing is listening to the mood of its people. And I can say the mood of the Chinese people that I have heard is that they’re impatient and they’re wanting a sustainable future.”

Andrew Forrest will advocate for green hydrogen at the climate summit.

Andrew Forrest will advocate for green hydrogen at the climate summit.Credit:Domenico Pugliese

Morrison will attend the Glasgow summit but is still negotiating with junior Coalition partner the Nationals over the shape of the federal government’s new climate policy. Morrison and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce this week ruled out seeking a 45 per cent cut to emissions by 2030.

“I’m not sure why we wouldn’t increase that target,” Forrest said.

The businessman said an unwillingness to boost the existing 2030 goal of a 26 to 28 per cent cut risked denying “huge economic opportunities” to regional towns and cities where green hydrogen production and other renewables would be built.

“I worry for those politicians who are struggling with the change, who keep on harping on with the same fear-mongering,” Forrest said.


“When you look at it deeply, they’re actually quite cruel. What they’re saying is, ‘please vote for me even though I am totally misinforming you’.”

Australia’s new climate target will be decided by federal cabinet without legislation in Parliament, meaning rebels will not be able to block it.

However, some Nationals MPs are pushing for a collection of sweeteners which might include some sort of commitment to explore the potential of small modular nuclear reactors.

Asked whether nuclear should be in Australia’s energy mix, Forrest described the technology as expensive and a security risk.

“It’s one of the better solutions, but it creates a dangerous world,” he said.

“I’ve never seen a process flow sheet involving either waste fuel from a reactor or from raw uranium that doesn’t involve getting the energy to a level where it could be taken and enriched to weapons grade. I don’t want to leave the world cleaner if it’s dangerous.”

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