RBA Deputy Governor Guy Debelle to Join Fortescue Renewable Energy Campaign
He’s the former DJ and punk music enthusiast who played a vital role in Australia’s response to the global financial crisis, but now Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Guy Debelle is taking on a new challenge: trying to turn a mining giant into a green energy powerhouse.
- Guy Debelle has been deputy governor of the RBA since 2016 and has been widely tipped to eventually become governor
- Dr. Debelle will leave the RBA on March 16 and join Fortescue Future Industries in June
- He joins previous high-profile FFI appointments, including former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Ahead of the looming federal election, Dr Debelle announced his resignation from the RBA to join billionaire mining tycoon Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) as chief financial officer.
It’s a surprise announcement given that Dr Debelle was only reappointed Deputy last year and was seen by many as the favorite to be named the next RBA Governor.
When asked why he’s forgoing the potential opportunity to be the next Reserve Bank governor, Dr. Debelle told ABC News the role offers the opportunity to make an even greater long-term contribution. important to society.
“It’s really interesting and exciting, it’s the opportunity to take on a new challenge that doesn’t always come along,” he explained.
Dr Debelle said he had noted in recent RBA speeches that he hoped Australia would become a clean energy exporter.
This new job would give him the ability to do “a lot of good for the country, for the future, to try to contribute to the welfare of the Australian people”.
He described Dr Forrest as a “true visionary” and said Fortescue was already moving towards a cleaner energy future.
“I strongly support this proposal,” said Dr. Debelle.
“This is the position expressed vocally by the president, it is not just rhetoric. It’s stuff on the ground. They already do [going green].”
Who is Guy Debelle?
Dr. Debelle has worked at the RBA for 25 years. He has been Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank since 2016 and before that served as Deputy Governor (Financial Markets) for a decade, playing a key role in Australia’s response to the 2008 global financial crisis.
Looking back on his time at the bank, Dr Debelle said the reforms he played a big part in throughout the global financial crisis and the recent COVID-19 pandemic stood out.
“It was a remarkable time,” he said.
“The Australian economy has had a pretty remarkable time, and the Reserve Bank has made a contribution to that, and that’s something I think we can be proud of.”
Dr. Debelle has also held positions at the International Monetary Fund, the Bank for International Settlements, the Australian Treasury and as Visiting Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
He is among several senior RBA officials who earned doctorates at MIT, including Governor Philip Lowe and current Deputy Governor (Financial Markets) Christopher Kent.
How will Guy Debelle fit into Fortescue’s green energy future?
Fortescue Chairman and Founder Andrew Forrest said the appointment was an important step in realizing the company’s global green energy vision.
Fortescue’s goal is to produce 15 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year by 2030 for distribution in the global market.
“The appointment of Dr. Debelle as FFI’s Chief Financial Officer will help facilitate this goal while delivering shareholder value and economic benefits for the communities where FFI operates,” Dr. Forrest said in an ASX statement. .
Dr. Forrest appointed big names to help guide his various business and philanthropic interests.
Last year, Malcolm Turnbull was appointed chairman of Australian Fortescue Future Industries, a subsidiary of the main company.
Former Australian intelligence official and diplomat Nick Warner is a special adviser.
Dr Debelle will lead FFI’s new Sydney CBD office, with the headquarters remaining in Perth.
“Bringing in someone of Dr. Debelle’s economic credibility is central to our vision for FFI,” Dr. Forrest said.
“Not only are we committed to stopping climate change, but we are also committed to creating economic growth, increasing jobs and increasing the profitability of our business.”
Dr Forrest said the strengthened management team would contribute to Fortescue’s “journey to becoming the best hydrogen, energy and green resource company in the world”.
“We will prove that going green has a profitable future for businesses around the world,” he said.
Dr Debelle said Fortescue Metals Group had recently acquired Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) – a subsidiary of the Williams Formula 1 team – as part of its efforts to decarbonise its fleet and equipment.
The iron miner has been working with WAE since early 2021 to build a prototype battery for an electric transport truck and plans to develop an electric train project.
Dr Debelle said that in Pilbara the company was working for zero energy transport of iron ore.
“It’s not like they’re saying it, they’re actually doing it,” he told ABC News.
He said climate change was having a huge impact on Australia, both in terms of geography and in terms of Australian businesses and households.
“There are many opportunities for Australia. Reflecting our endowment, Australia has been an energy exporter for many decades and there is no reason for that to change.
“Australia is also endowed with resources that allow us to continue to be an exporter of energy – but of renewable rather than emissions-intensive fossil fuels.
“I see this as an incredibly exciting opportunity for the future of our country and the world.”
The Treasurer will appoint a replacement “in due course”
RBA Governor Philip Lowe thanked Dr Debelle for his time and work at the central bank.
“He made a major contribution to monetary policy, financial market operations and the management of the bank,” said Dr Lowe.
“Guy has been an excellent colleague and I wish him the best in his new position.”
A new Deputy Governor will soon be appointed by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, with Dr Debelle leaving the bank on March 16.
He will join Fortescue in June.
Mr. Frydenberg thanked Dr. Debelle for his “outstanding contribution to the RBA over nearly three decades.”
“Since his appointment as Deputy Governor and Deputy Chairman of the RBA Board in 2016, Dr. Debelle has provided strong economic leadership and helped guide the RBA Board’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
The Morrison government, he said, would announce a replacement deputy governor “in due course”.