The government has announced that it will invest over half a billion pounds into green technologies to support its climate and environment commitments.
The headline announcement made by the government is a new £400m Treasury fund to improve Britain’s electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.
The first £70m of the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund will go towards creating 3000 new rapid charge points, which will more than double the number of charge points across the UK to 5000 by 2024.
Funding announcements for R&D projects include £31.5m for research into technologies to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, and £22m to minimise the effects of new kinds of air pollution.
Exchequer Secretary Simon Clarke said: ‘We are driving ahead with plans to make travel greener while backing British innovation and technology.
‘I am delighted to announce this funding today that will more than double the number of rapid charge points for electric vehicles on our roads. Britain already boasts one of the biggest networks of charging infrastructure in Europe and soon we will have the fastest thanks to this investment.’
Alongside the £400m EV fund, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has unveiled £142.9m in investment for other green projects as part of the government’s Strategic Priority Fund.
£31.5m will be spent on developing technologies to remove greenhouse gases from the sky, while £22m will look at ways to minimise the effects of air pollutants like air fresheners and cleaning products on public health.
BEIS will also invest £47m into research to find ways to make the UK’s food system healthier and more sustainable, £30m into reusing and recycling materials in innovative ways, and £12.43m into better managing the UK’s marine resources.
Business, Energy and Clean Growth Minister Kwasi Kwarteng admitted that despite the UK already taking steps to reduce its emissions, it’s clear that ‘more needs to be done’ to secure a greener future for the country.
‘That’s why we’re backing these initiatives, aimed at making improvements from battling air pollutants to protecting our invaluable sea life,’ Kwarteng added.
‘These pioneering projects will help us maintain our world-leading position in this field, and to make further strides towards a more sustainable future for our planet.’
The government’s announcement comes after the UK became the world’s first major economy to legislate to end its contribution to global warming by 2050.
BEIS figures released earlier this year revealed that the UK has cut its emissions by 44% since 1990, mostly by phasing fossil fuels out of the country’s energy mix.
However, experts say that the UK must now decarbonise other areas of its economy such as transport and business in order to hit its 2050 target.