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Australia’s 2nd-Richest Man To Quit UK If Brits Don’t Quit Fossil Fuels

By Belal Awad · July 31, 2023

In brief…

  • Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest slammed the UK for its continued use of fossil fuels, calling it "clickbait cycle" politics.
  • UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak plans to grant hundreds of new licenses for oil and gas production in the North Sea.
  • Forrest threatened to pull his investments from Britain and move them to North America if Britain doesn't change its policies.
  • Forrest, a former mining exec, is now an advocate for green hydrogen, a renewable energy source.
Billionaire Andrew Forrest (left) vows to pull his investments from Britain if the Sunak goverment does't go green.  UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Australian billionaire and former CEO of Fortescue Metals Group, Andrew Forrest, vented frustration over the United Kingdom’s continued support for fossil fuels, calling it “clickbait cycle” politics. Forrest vowed on Bloomberg TV that he will redirect his investments to North America if the UK continues on its current trajectory.

“If I see this country steering itself over a cliff, backing fossil fuel, I’m going to start pulling out,” Forrest fumed. “I must invest where I know I have proper leadership, not leadership which is on a clickbait cycle.”

Forrest’s comments come in the wake of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s announced commitment to hundreds of new licenses for oil and gas production in the North Sea. The government plans to issue the first of these permits this fall. Sunak’s critics contend that the UK has failed to invest enough in energy independence, even while other nations, such as the U.S., pump billions into green technology. The announcement also comes as much of the world endures a scorching summer, where record-high temperatures and extreme weather have seemingly become commonplace. Many scientists argue this is the result of man-made climate change.

The second-richest person in Australia, Forrest made his fortune in the mining industry and is now a vocal advocate for green-energy solutions. His company, Fortescue Metals Group, shipped nearly 190 million tonnes of iron ore from the Pilbara region of Northwestern Australia last year, reporting revenues of $17.4 billion. More recently, Forrest has focused on green hydrogen, a renewable energy source that he believes could revolutionize the energy sector.

“Some are arguing that the technology we need to beat global warming is not with us yet,” Forrest told Washington Post. “I say that is completely false. The most optimal technologies aren’t with us yet, but we’ve got enough now to make huge heavy-industry companies green.”