(Bloomberg) -- China should strive to eliminate emissions by the 2030s, more than two decades ahead of schedule, Australian metals billionaire-turned-green hydrogen disciple Andrew Forrest said in a speech at the Boao Forum for Asia.

If China quadruples its build-out of renewable energy to 500 gigawatts a year, it could “essentially eliminate national emissions in the 2030s,” the chairman of Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. said at the conference in Hainan on Thursday. China has committed to peak its emissions before 2030 and reach net zero by 2060.

“All your baseload energy can be met from renewable electricity, with green hydrogen quickly replacing the gas you currently need to meet peak power requirements,” Forrest said to a crowd that included China Premier Li Qiang. Forrest also urged China to help its companies ramp up production of clean-tech equipment the rest of the world needs to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. 

China is the world’s leading manufacturer of solar panels and batteries and has by far the largest fleet of renewable power generation. Yet it’s still the world’s largest polluter and is planning a massive build-out of coal power plants as it prioritizes enhanced energy security and reliability.

Fortescue’s clean energy arm, Fortescue Future Industries, aspires to be a top global producer of green hydrogen, and has vowed to decarbonize its entire iron ore mining operation by 2030.

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