The Bob Brown Foundation is challenging Twiggy Forrest’s claim that future hydrogen production as he projects it will be ‘pure, totally clean.’
In a full-page ad in today’s Australian Financial Review, the foundation responds to a similarly prominent ad last week by Forrest, together with a video clip, in which he claimed that investing in the hydrogen economy creates ‘sustainable green infrastructure … which means you can be a hero in the global energy sector, save the planet and look your kids in the eye’.
The BBF ad highlights huge hydroelectric schemes in poorer countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Papua New Guinea which Forrest has been promoting with heads-of-state to create the energy needed to produce hydrogen.
Yesterday, the Port Moresby newspaper Post-Courier refused to run the same ad but negotiations are underway. Forrest visited PNG before Glasgow.
Bob Brown says the foundation aims is to foster debate about the environmental and social impacts of global hydrogen production as projected by Dr Forrest. “He is promoting huge hydro-electric schemes on some of the world’s last remaining great rivers and there would be massive social and environmental consequences. As reported in the AFR, he has contracted with the president of the DRC for a scheme on the Congo River twice the size of China’s Twin Gorges Dam. It is reported to threaten the displacement of 25,000 people, involves massive transmission lines, and has been dropped by previous interested parties including the World Bank.”
“In Papua New Guinea, Forrest’s hydrogen vision brings dams on a number of major rivers into focus. There can have been no time to consult the local populations nor to assess the impact on some of the most spectacular tropical gorges on Earth. His global vision deserves global scrutiny. We want him to get social licences. That is what we seek.”
“We support a hydrogen economy based on renewable energy where the production of that energy does not contribute to climate change, damage the environment or cause social dislocation. That is going to take a lot more considered judgement than is evident in Dr Forrest’s global mission,” Bob Brown said.