Boris Johnson and Bill Gates put £200m each into green technology investment partnership

UK government forges agreement with Microsoft founder to support development of energy technologies

Credit: Steve Jurvetson/CC BY 2.0

Prime minister Boris Johnson has agreed a £400m partnership that will see the UK government team up with Microsoft founder Bill Gates to invest money in green energy technologies.

The agreement will see £200m apiece invested by the government and the Breakthrough Energy network of organisations created by Gates to support initiatives aimed at tackling climate change.

The money will be put in by the network’s Catalyst programme, which is dedicated to accelerating the development and adoption of four types of “decarbonisation” technology: direct air capture; green hydrogen; long-duration energy storage; and sustainable aviation fuel.

The government will work in concert with the Breakthrough Energy Catalyst over the next 10 years to “support the commercialisation” of these technologies. This will involve helping to make them cheaper, and promoting their use on a global basis.

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Gates (pictured above) 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.”

Johnson added that the partnership would help increase the UK’s skills base as well as “creating high-quality jobs” across the country.

“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,” the prime minister said. “Ahead of COP26, this new partnership with Catalyst is a boost to the UK’s vision for a green industrial revolution.”


Sam Trendall

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