A magnate could handsomely reward mining bosses who accelerate the transition towards cleaner alternatives.
Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) recently proposed paying management personnel more, if they proactively abandon coal and diesel then switch to renewable energy.
“I am calling on chairmen and chief executives … change your remuneration policies to ensure that stepping beyond fossil fuels to protect your customers and your shareholders, and your planet, is welded into the DNA of their remuneration packages – if you do not do this it will not happen, do this it will happen,” FMG founding executive chairman Andrew Forrest said at the 2022 annual general meeting.
“Chairmans and chief executives you need to step up and do it.”
Forrest claimed fossil fuels were far too expensive, and his employer had already saved $100 million from refusing to buy “filthy” coal and diesel. He now hopes to save up to US$17 billion (A$25.5B) through transitioning to readily available copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt and rare earths instead.
“Green energy will become cheaper than fossil fuel[s] anyway then it will be asinine or simply laziness for chief executives to cling to their filthy, fossil fuel polluting future – leave it in the past,” he said.
“Fortunately, the critical minerals needed are in abundance. We just have to get out and look for them.”
He described fossil fuels as the biggest “joke of history” because the more they are consumed, the more expensive they become. This has allegedly created a gap in the market for undemocratic leaders.
“Fossil fuel is becoming scarcer and scarcer that is why it is becoming more expensive and being used by dictators. Renewable energy is everywhere ladies and gentlemen, it is yours and ours and – as your Fortescue adopts it – down comes your operating costs [and] up goes your margins.”
He reaffirmed his belief in an environmental theory that burning fossil fuels creates carbon emissions, which can influence long-term weather patterns.
“Dressed as the grim reaper climate change is in the kitchen, your homes it is at the boardroom table. The heating climate is coming to you,” he said.