26 May Government announces £40m Clean Growth Fund to support with net-zero goal
The UK Government has announced a £40 million Clean Growth Fund to support new businesses in low-carbon, waste, transport and building, with the goal of expanding the funding to £100 million by 2021. The Fund has been created with a £20 million investment from the government combined with a matched amount from charity group CCLA. The fund is available for UK start-ups with specific low carbon and sustainable development solutions in the energy, power, waste management, heating of buildings and transport industries.
Alok Sharma, the Business Secretary explains that the requirement for more innovation and ambitious plans in the green industry is essential. Sharma believes that the fund will support clean growth businesses and support economic recovery in the UK and assist in the pathway towards net zero by 2050. The fund is actively looking for wider private investment with a target of increasing the fund to £100 million by the end of 2021. The fund will be overseen by Clean Growth Investment Management LLP.
According to the REA , the UK Government is capable of delivering over 80% increase in renewable and clean technology jobs within a decade by focusing on introducing better taxation systems and delivering a clear roadmap for net-zero plans. Studies by RenewableUK have highlighted that achieving net-zero targets and placing green technology as a top priority, would generate significant economic benefits to the country. RenewableUK believes that the net zero target would encourage accelerated demand for green hydrogen and generate in excess of £50 billion towards the established and leading offshore wind industry.
A separate study by Energy Systems Catapult explained that reaching net zero emissions in the UK by 2050 is possible but will involve considerable innovation across the economy. To deliver net zero will require collaboration, leadership and innovation. In a recent interview, Mark Naysmith, the CEO of WSP explained that the delivery of a net zero economy is a top priority for the business and its 8,000 UK based employees. Naysmith admits that they will need support and have already established a partnership with industry thinktank Bright Blue to create a strategic plan for net zero delivery in the UK. The approach by WSP is something that Naysmith believes is vital to approaching net zero plans. Further collaboration between the government, authorities and industry developers will be essential in generating and supporting the next generation of leaders.
Net zero delivery needs to become a top priority and be part of a core focus of all existing and proposed plans, particularly across the energy, home, heat and transport industries. Naysmith highlights that WSP, along with many of their clients and connections are showing their commitment towards becoming carbon neutral by 2025.
All decarbonisation plans will require a sustainable flow of secure investment. Naysmith hopes that the associated costs of making the transition to net zero will be viewed more as an investment, rather than a cost and a necessity to create a more sustainable and resilient future.