UK industry – including the transport sector – will receive around GBP350m to cut down carbon emissions under new plans to step up efforts to tackle climate change.
The investment package is being presented as part of an effort to drive forward progress on the UK's CO2 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' 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 ever zero emission long haul passenger plane.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "We've made great strides towards our net zero target 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."
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 opening up bids for a further GBP10m 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.
As part of the 2050 zero carbon objective, the UK government is committing to consult on ending the sale of new petrol, diesel or hybrid cars by 2035 or earlier. It is also launching the 'Transport Decarbonisation Plan' to cut emissions across the sector and providing over GBP1bn 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.
Over the past decade, the UK has cut carbon emissions by more than any similar developed country. In 2019, UK emissions were 42% lower than in 1990, while the economy over the same period grew by 72%.