The UK Government has announced a £166.5 million investment to help the transition to a green economy, including a new major project based in Edinburgh. 

The package will contribute to the development of new technologies to fight climate change and meet the UK’s climate targets, while creating more than 60,000 “well-paid” green jobs across the UK. 

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Edinburgh’s Heriot Watt University will receive £20m to establish a world-leading Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC) that will accelerate the decarbonisation of industries which significantly contribute to UK emissions.

The Centre will bring together new technologies and address the challenges faced by industrial areas, helping to provide solutions that reduce costs, risks and emissions.

IDRIC will be headed by award-winning academic Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer.

She said: “I am delighted to lead IDRIC, the UK research and innovation hub for industrial decarbonisation that will set the foundations for the new industrial clusters of tomorrow. 

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“The 2020s will be key for the UK to set the pathway to meet its carbon targets and IDRIC will play a key role to accelerate the decarbonisation of industrial clusters. 

“Working with the research and innovation community, we will demonstrate our international competitiveness to realise the opportunities offered by economies of scale in decarbonising industrial clusters and driving new business models.”

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Bringing together new technologies through the work of over 140 partners, it will create the world’s first net-zero emissions industrial cluster by 2040 and four low-carbon clusters by 2030.

The Government says the investment is in line with the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a green revolution outlined six months ago.

The £166m package will be awarded to innovators, businesses, academics and heavy industry across the country to develop solutions to decarbonise the UK’s polluting sectors including manufacturing, steel, energy and waste.

Ministers say the investment will help put the UK at the forefront of the green technologies of the future, while supporting British industries to lower costs, remain competitive and protect jobs as they improve their energy efficiency and transition to a green economy.

UK Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:“We are determined to tackle climate change and make it win-win for both our planet and our economy. 

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“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. 

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“Today we’re boosting our armoury for the fight against climate change and backing innovators and businesses to create green jobs right across the United Kingdom.

The UK’s climate commitments include reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and the world’s most ambitious climate target of reducing UK emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.