The UK government has announced plans to launch a £ 400million investment program alongside US billionaire Bill Gates to boost the development of new green technologies.
Boris Johnson said the deal would help fuel a “green industrial revolution” and develop emerging technologies that were currently too expensive to be commercially successful, but which were essential to meeting the government’s climate goals.
Speaking at a global investment summit at the Science Museum in London on Tuesday, the Prime Minister said the partnership would help develop UK technology related to carbon capture and storage, battery life in the long term, to jet zero (zero carbon aviation) and green hydrogen. Technology.
“I think these are all technologies that have huge potential but are currently underinvested compared to others,” Johnson said.
“We will only achieve our ambitious climate goals if we rapidly develop new technologies in areas such as green hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuels – technologies that seemed impossible just a few years ago. “
The UK has already pledged at least £ 200million for the development of new UK green technologies. Gates announced on Tuesday that he would honor the pledge through Breakthrough Energy Catalyst, a coalition of private investors he leads in funding innovative approaches to tackle the climate crisis.
“Ahead of Cop26, this new partnership with Catalyst is a boost to the UK’s vision of a green industrial revolution,” said the Prime Minister. “This will help bring innovative technologies to market around the world, while developing new skills and creating high quality jobs across the UK. “
Gates said he would work with the UK government to select projects that would be supported by the new fund. “We will increase them and reduce this cost, so we will
bring them to the same place we are today with solar and onshore wind, and so they can be scaled up to reduce emissions, ”he said.
“Our partnership with the UK will accelerate the deployment of these critical climate solutions, helping to make them more affordable and accessible,” Gates added. “In order to achieve net zero emissions, we need to reduce the costs of clean technologies so that they can compete with and replace the high emitting products we use today – I call this price difference the green premium. “
The Microsoft co-founder praised the UK for making “huge strides” in reducing carbon emissions and for introducing policies that have helped support science.
Speaking ahead of Cop26, which begins in Glasgow on October 31, Johnson told the gathering of the international business elite that now is the time for the government to partner with the private sector to commercialize green technologies.
“We should use this moment, collectively as governments, to leverage the trillions of dollars in the marketplace, creating the national platforms that will not only tackle climate change, but create green jobs and green growth in the world, ”he said.
“I can deploy billions – with the approval of the Chancellor, obviously – but you in this room, you can deploy billions. “
Johnson said more than 200 business leaders and investors invited to the conference collectively had $ 24 billion (£ 17.4 billion) in assets under management. “I mean to every one of those dollars, you are welcome to the UK and you have come to the right place at the right time. “