Boris Johnson has unveiled £350m in funding to help industry to reduce carbon emissions in a bid to speed up progress towards the UK’s 2050 net zero goal.
The funding will go to a range of businesses and projects working across industries such as heavy industry, construction, space and transport.
Johnson said that the coronavirus pandemic meant that it was “more important than ever that we keep up the pace of change to fuel a green, sustainable recovery.
“The UK now has a huge opportunity to cement its place at the vanguard of green innovation, setting an example worldwide while growing the economy and creating new jobs’.
Of the funding, £139m will go to heavy industry to support the transition from natural gas to hydrogen, as well as scaling up the development of carbon capture and storage (CCUS) technologies.
The two technologies have both long been earmarked as critical to the transition to a green economy, with 40 businesses last month writing to chancellor Rishi Sunak in support of a country-wide hydrogen strategy.
In addition, £149m will go towards developing the use of innovative materials, such as so-called “green steel” across industry, while £26m will be put towards supporting low-carbon building techniques.
The remainder of the money will be put towards a national space innovation programme and research and development projects in the automotive industry.
Business secretary Alok Sharma said: “This funding will reduce emissions, create green collar jobs and fuel a strong, clean economic recovery – all essential to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.”
The new funding comes in addition to the £100bn announced in March’s budget for the rollout of a super-fast charging network for electric vehicles.
The government has also committed to consulting on ending the sale of petrol, diesel and hybrid cars by 2035, and launched a transport decarbonisation plan.
Finally, Johnson will also launch the first meeting of the new ‘Jet Zero Council’, which has been tasked with developing the world’s first zero emission long haul airliner.
“The Jet Zero Council is a huge step forward in making change – as we push forward with innovative technologies such as sustainable fuels and eventually fully electric planes, we will achieve guilt-free flying and boost sustainability for years to come”, said transport secretary Grant Shapps.