UK Government announces £166 million package for ‘fight against climate change’ including major new Edinburgh project

The UK Government has announced a £166 million package that ministers claim will help in the fight against climate change, including a major new project in Edinburgh.

A climate change protest outside Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

The £166.5 million funding package announced today aims to help develop new technologies as well as decarbonise the sectors polluting the UK.

Ministers believe the plans will create over 60,000 jobs, and forms part of the Prime Minister’s pledge to “build back greener”.

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UK Government Minister for Scotland David Duguid said :“This vital funding supports the UK Government’s ambitious climate commitments, giving industry leaders the finances to make changes for a sustainable future as the country strives to Build Back Greener.

“Institutions to benefit include Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh with £20million to run a new virtual Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre.

“By embracing measures such as these as well as accelerating decarbonisation, scaling up the use of low-carbon hydrogen and embracing new carbon capture and greenhouse gas removal technologies, we will future-proof our industry while protecting and creating jobs.”

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Scotland's Rural College alongside partners University of Strathclyde, Agri-EPI Centre and No Pollution Industrial Systems Ltd will also receive over £200,000 to reduce the environmental impact of beef production.

UK energy minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan claimed the investment was a “boost” to the UK’s “armoury” in fighting climate change.

She said: “We are determined to tackle climate change and make it win-win for both our planet and our economy.

“Today’s major cash boost – targeted at our most polluting industries - will encourage the rapid development of the technologies we need to reign in our emissions and transition to a green economy, one that reduces costs for business, boosts investment and create jobs.

“Just six months ago, the Prime Minister set out a clear 10 Point Plan for creating and supporting up to 250,000 British jobs as we level up and build back greener from the pandemic.”

The funding also includes £60 million to support the development of low carbon hydrogen in the UK, £37.5 million for a programme of new greenhouse gas removal methods and £20 million to support the development of new waste storage technologies.

The £20 million to establish a new virtual Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre is intended to speed up the decarbonisation of energy-intensive industries.

Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer at Heriot-Watt University said: “The role of the Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre will be to consider a wide-range of opportunities and challenges for the industrial sector to decarbonise– starting with the industrial clusters and our joint ambition to deliver the world's first net zero industrial hubs by 2040.

"The research and evidence we’ll work through with our academic and industry partners across the UK will not just focus on industry itself, however, but also how it will shape society and economies at both a local and national level.

"It’s a key part of making sure the UK heads down the most effective path with its decarbonisation efforts and I’m looking forward to starting the journey.”

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