Government call to action for Climate Change innovation
A £60 million investment from the UK Government for projects tackling Climate Change was announced on Friday (19th Oct)
BEIS announced a sizable fund for green innovation enthusiasts last week, sparking the imaginations of Britain’s brightest brains. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy are inviting innovators and researchers to pitch ideas and projects to help tackle climate change as part of the modern Industrial Strategy.
Greg Clark, Business and Energy Secretary, has announced 4 new research programmes to boost the UK’s resilience to climate change, develop digital environments, promote clean air, and investigate how to use our land to boost health outcomes. The fund was announced as part of the government’s Green GB Week – the first event of its kind – whereby the government campaigned heavily to business, local communities, investors, and academics to revitalize their efforts in tackling the biggest threat to (inter)national security; climate change. As a subject that should get more pressing over time, it has somewhat fallen by the wayside as a major news topic, mentioned in passing between the heavy coverage of Brexit and Trump. An unlikely connection, but both Brexit and Trump have had serious implications to the UK’s perception of climate change. As mentioned in last week’s article, Brexit will have undeniable implications on the UK’s involvement in a variety of EU-led climate policies, while Trump’s incessant denial of climate change seeps into the psyche of many voters not only in North America, but across Europe.
Back to the task at hand. As of last week, the UK has become one of the first large global economies to ask climate change experts for advice on setting a target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions. A lofty target, indeed. Since 1990, the UK has cut emissions by 40%, so maybe net zero emissions is not an impossible task after all. It is reassuring, though, that innovation is being directed towards tackling climate change. UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Mark Walport said: “The recent IPCC report is a timely reminder of the challenges we face in tackling climate change. Storm Callum has highlighted the impact that extreme weather events can have on our community”. Further adding “it is vital that the evidence is used to effectively navigate and mitigate the effect of climate change, and new technologies are developed to support a move to a low carbon economy”.
The programmes, administered by the UKRI, ranging a variety of subjects will be put in place to:
- produce better data on climate risks to the UK
- build a digital picture of our natural environment for greater monitoring and analysis of the impact of climate change
- cut air pollution and protect vulnerable groups from its effects
- use our land better, for the benefit of the environment and communities
- developing ways for the UK to adapt to climate change
An exciting time for green enthusiasts, inventors and investors alike, and the UK economy more generally. Competition for funding will be opening in the coming weeks. Watch this space.
To find out how your business can take action against climate change and develop energy resilience. Contact Andrew Clare at buyelectricityonline.com for expert advice, consulting, and energy management services.