UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a landmark deal with Microsoft founder Bill Gates to boost future green technologies.
The deal will be a partnership between Gate’s company Breakthrough Energy and the UK Government, aiming to drive investment into the next generation of ground-breaking clean energy technologies.
Johnson said the £400 million partnership will provide momentum for the UK’s vision for a “green industrial revolution” ahead of COP26.
Speaking at the Global Investment Summit, the Prime Minister said that the partnership will leverage £200m worth of private sector investment in the UK to “accelerate the development of the cutting-edge climate technologies” that Britain needs to achieve net-zero by 2050.
“We will only achieve our ambitious climate goals if we rapidly scale up new technologies in areas like green hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuels – technologies that seemed impossible just a few years ago,” Johnson said.
“Ahead of COP26, this new partnership with Catalyst is a boost to the UK’s vision for a green industrial revolution. It will help to bring innovative technologies to market globally, while building new skills and creating high-quality jobs across the UK,” he added.
The Catalyst programme, which is part of the Breakthrough Energy Network, aims to brings together firms, governments, philanthropists, and individuals to invest in “critical climate technologies”.
Johnson said the Government has already committed around £200m for the development, demonstration, and deployment of UK projects in these areas as part of the £1bn Net Zero Innovation Portfolio.
Investors and businesses partnered with the Breakthrough Energy Catalyst will now match £200m of that investment, helping to “bring these vital technologies to market”.
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Commenting on the deal, Gates, Founder of Breakthrough Energy, said: “Our partnership with the United Kingdom will accelerate the deployment of these critical climate solutions, helping to make them more affordable and accessible.
“In order to achieve net-zero emissions, we need to reduce the costs of clean technologies so they can compete with and replace the high-emitting products we use today – I call this difference in price the Green Premium.
“Working with public and private sector leaders, including the UK, Catalyst will be a key vehicle for reducing Green Premiums, building the clean industries of tomorrow, and creating lasting jobs in communities around the world.”
Over the next 10 years, Catalyst will work with Westminster to “support the commercialisation of high-impact decarbonisation technologies” and help to reduce the cost of green tech to improve scalability and help get the products to global markets.