Australian billionaire Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest’s Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and Airbus have entered into an alliance to decarbonise the aviation industry through zero-emissions green hydrogen.
The two signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at Airbus’ headquarters in Toulouse, France yesterday, allowing both companies to collaborate closely - with the aerospace manufacturer to draw upon FFI’s expertise in green hydrogen.
As part of the agreement, both companies will leverage their respective knowledge to support the entry-into-service of a green hydrogen-based aircraft by 2035. Green hydrogen is produced by splitting water via the process of electrolysis, and is made using 100 per cent renewable electricity.
In a statement from the Forrest-run subsidiary of Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG), FFI said the alliance will look at challenges around green hydrogen regulations, infrastructure and global supply chains - from the production of green hydrogen, through to its delivery to airports and transfer onto aircraft.
FFI founder and chairman Forrest said the global aviation industry produced more than 2.5 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions, with emissions having doubled since the 1980s.
“The time is now for a green revolution in the aviation industry. This exciting collaboration brings together leaders in the aviation industry with leaders in green energy for a pollution-free future,” Forrest said.
“We are all citizens of a global world. People want to travel, reunite with family and friends and explore new places without being forced to pollute the planet.
“The problem isn’t travel, the problem is how we fuel our planes and ships – all of that must turn emissions free. No greenwash, no mirage, just 100 per cent green.”
The founder pointed to the ongoing catastrophic flooding in Australia as an example of a changing environment - one that could worsen if efforts to decarbonise industries are not taken immediately.
“The catastrophic floods on the east coast are being described as “one-in-1000-year events,” which means that every year there is just a 0.1 per cent chance of a flood of that severity happening.
“Australia’s climate has already warmed on average by almost 1.5°C since 1910, and these extreme events are going to occur more frequently if industry doesn’t come together to decarbonise quickly and completely.
“I ask those remaining institutions who continue to invest in fossil fuels, to think of their kids. In particular, those so-called entrepreneurs who are supporting fossil fuel assets, please consider your children’s future over your profits.”
His statements were backed by Airbus vice president of zero emissions aircraft Glenn Llewellyn who said “the future of air travel is green”.
“Airbus has identified green hydrogen as the most promising option for decarbonisation to meet our environmental challenges,” Llewellyn said.
“You heard it here first: We are starting the green aviation revolution.”
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