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£350 Million Committed to Fuel Green Recovery

£350 Million Committed to Fuel Green Recovery
24 July 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced this week that UK industry will receive £350 million to cut emissions and drive economic recovery from COVID-19.

The package is intended to drive the UK’s target to reach net-zero by 2050, by helping businesses to decarbonise across the heavy industry, construction, space and transport sectors.

The investment comes ahead of the PM launching the first meeting of the Jet Zero Council, which will bring together government, representatives from the environmental sector and the aviation and aerospace industry to tackle aviation emissions in line with the government’s ambition to achieve the first zero-emission long haul passenger plane.


“We’ve made great strides towards our net-zero targets over the last year, but it’s more important than ever that we keep up the pace of change to fuel a green, sustainable recovery as we rebuild from the pandemic.”

–Boris Johnson, Prime Minister 


What Does the PM’s New Package Include?


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 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 per cent of emissions being released from industrial plants into the air by storing carbon permanently underground.

There will also be £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 construction tech was also announced. This 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, known as digital twins.


What is the Jet Zero Council?


The Jet Zero Council is the government’s step towards achieving “guilt-free flying” with fully electric planes.

Chaired by the Transport and Business Secretaries, the first-ever Jet Zero council meeting on 22 July 2020 discussed how to decarbonise the aviation sector while supporting its growth.

The members looked 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 fossil jet fuel, and eventually the development of electric planes.


Green Recovery Versus “Build Build Build”


After Johnson’s announcement of his post-COVID economic recovery plans in late June, some sustainability commentators were concerned about the effect of the “build build build” mantra. They urged a more targeted, specific and ambitious action on decarbonisation as part of the green recovery. 

So far this year, the government have committed to consult on ending the sale of new petrol, diesel or hybrid cars by 2035 or earlier and have launching the Transport Decarbonisation Plan to cut emissions across the sector.

They have also pledged over £1 billion to support the rollout of ultra-low emission vehicles in the UK via support for a super-fast charging network for electric vehicles.

Picture: A photograph of a factory emitting smoke pollution 

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 24 July 2020


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