UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced a £350 million funding that supports new plans on tackling climate change by cutting down carbon emissions of construction, transport, space, and heavy industries.
This multi-million investment package is also designed to spur economic recovery following the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The £350 million funding will be broken down to support a different aspect of the net-zero transition. About £139 million will be allocated on the transition to clean hydrogen power from natural gas, helping to scale up the innovative carbon capture and storage (CCUS) technologies.
The CCUS is said to prevent the release of over 90% of carbon emissions into the air from industrial plants through the storage of such emissions permanently underground.
£149 million will be used to support waste ash reuse, recyclable steel development, and other innovative materials for heavy industries. As of writing, around thirteen initial projects have already been proposed to spearhead this initiative.
Around £26 million will be invested in new building techniques to reduce emissions and construction costs while also enhancing quality and productivity. State-of-the-art construction technology will receive a £10 boost, which includes nineteen projects like reusable walls and roofs, and digital clones of buildings for real-time data analysis.
The UK Space Agency will also be backing an innovation programme in the national space sector, which is set to monitor the level of climate change worldwide. It will also help shield local areas from extreme weather conditions. This initiative will be receiving a £15 million backing from the agency.
Meanwhile, a £10 million funding will be spent on the automotive sector’s Research and Development. It will be supporting companies to push inventions from prototype to market. Also, the money will be used to develop more powerful batteries and efficient electric motors.
Every project to be supported by the £350 million funding is related to the development of new technologies, which will drive growth and innovation in various UK industries. These proposals will help companies maintain energy efficiency in production and use data intelligently to conquer climate change. Furthermore, these schemes could help create more green jobs, which will usher economic recovery.
PM Boris Johnson stated that the UK is on its way to cementing its front-running status in green innovation. He mentioned that the nation had made leaps in its legally-binding net-zero targets since 2019, which is why the government is driven by its commitment to sustain the improvements. He also highlighted the importance of green and sustainable recovery in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
Johnson further said that the UK would be backing several British industries to ensure that innovation costs are lowered, and carbon emissions are lowered effectively. There is also a plan to develop the first-ever net-zero emission long haul flight, which shows the bold ambitions of the country.
The PM also posted on Twitter the government’s exciting partnership with the aviation industry through the first-ever Jet Zero Council, which discusses the details of net-zero flights—a pioneering idea that will solidify the UK’s position in the global race towards decarbonisation.
Alok Sharma, Business and Energy Secretary, stated that the announced funding would promote emission reduction and increase green-collar jobs. He expressed his support for a clean economic recovery, which will also help accomplish the net-zero targets by 2050.
Sharma also said that climate change is one of the most significant issues today, which makes innovation necessary to tackle it. Such strides will benefit the people and the environment.
Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, highlighted the Jet Zero Council as the step that pushes forward more innovative technologies like sustainable fuels. It will also eventually lead to the development of electric planes, which promotes guilt-free flying. He also said that the government is inviting investors and businesses to form partnerships to ensure that all stakeholders of the country adequately tackle climate change.