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PM commits £350 Million Boost to Fuel Green Recovery

By Rachael Glennie

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Plans to create green collar jobs, lower companies’ energy bills and cut carbon emissions in key sectors across the UK will receive a £350 million boost, PM Boris Johnson announced on July 22.

The multimillion pound investment package will build on the PM’s work throughout his first year in office to drive forward progress on the UK’s target to reach net zero by 2050, by helping businesses to decarbonise across the heavy industry, construction, space and transport sectors and to secure the UK’s place at the forefront of green innovation.

The investment comes ahead of the PM launching the first meeting of the Jet Zero Council later today, which will bring together government, representatives from the environmental sector and the aviation and aerospace industry to tackle aviation emissions and develop plans for the first ever zero emission transatlantic flight.

UK Government Minister for Scotland, David Duguid said

“This funding demonstrates the UK Government’s commitment to economic recovery in Scotland but also helps to ensure this recovery is green and sustainable as we move forward from coronavirus.

“As an energy powerhouse, it is exciting to see Scotland will be at the forefront of this change from lowering carbon emissions at Grangemouth, to cutting edge research at the University of Strathclyde and transforming how we re-use our industrial materials.

“With the UK hosting the important UN Climate Change talks in Glasgow next year it is important we show leadership in climate change. Initiatives like this will be vital in helping us fulfil our commitment to reducing emissions to net zero by 2050.”

Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, Kwasi Kwarteng, said:

“Cutting our emissions and supporting our economic recovery means backing places like Falkirk and Aberdeenshire.

“This funding will deliver the innovation to ensure Scotland remains a crucial part of our industrial backbone while cutting its emissions. By capturing and storing carbon from Grangemouth and cleaning up the production of commodities, we will build a clean, green future for our industries, which will support jobs for years to come.”

The projects set to receive funding will work on developing new technologies that could help companies switch to more energy-efficient means of production, use data more effectively to tackle the impacts of climate change, and help support the creation of new green-collar jobs by driving innovation and growth in UK industries.

The package includes: £139 million to cut emissions in heavy industry by supporting the transition from natural gas to clean hydrogen power, and scaling up carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology which can stop over 90 percent of emissions being released from industrial plants into the air by storing carbon permanently underground.

£149 million to drive the use of innovative materials in heavy industry; the 13 initial projects will include proposals to reuse waste ash in the glass and ceramics industry, and the development of recyclable steel.

£26 million to support advanced new building techniques in order to reduce build costs and carbon emissions in the construction industry.

A £10 million boost for state of the art construction tech which will go towards 19 projects focused on improving productivity and building quality, for example, re-usable roofs and walls and “digital clones” of buildings that analyse data in real time.

Launching a New National Space Innovation Programme backed by £15 million initial funding from the UK Space Agency, which will see the first £10million go towards projects that will monitor climate change across the globe, which could protect local areas from the impacts of extreme weather by identifying changes in the environment.

A further £10million for R&D in the automotive sector, to help companies take cutting edge ideas from prototype to market, including more efficient electric motors or more powerful batteries

Chaired by the Transport and Business Secretaries, today’s first ever Jet Zero council meeting will discuss how to decarbonise the aviation sector while supporting its growth and strengthening the UK’s position as a world leader in the sector.

Set to include representatives from Airbus, Shell, Rolls-Royce and the Renewable Energy Association, the members will look at how to work across their sectors to achieve these goals, including through brand new aircraft and engine technologies.

These could include using new synthetic and sustainable aviation fuels as a clean substitute for natural gas, and eventually the development of electric planes.

One year on from taking office, today’s announcements form part of the PM’s wider efforts to ensure the UK meets its legally binding target to reach net zero emissions by 2050, whilst also driving forward a green recovery from the pandemic.

So far this year, this includes committing to consult on ending the sale of new petrol, diesel or hybrid cars by 2035 or earlier; launching the Transport Decarbonisation Plan to cut emissions across the sector; providing over £1 billion at Budget to support the rollout of ultra-low emission vehicles in the UK via support for a super-fast charging network for electric vehicles; and committing up to £100 million of new funding for research to develop a brand new clean technology, Direct Air Capture

Over the past decade, the UK has cut carbon emissions by more than any similar developed country. In 2019, UK emissions were 42 percent lower than in 1990, while our economy over the same period grew by 72 percent.

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