Boris Johnson announces R8 billion green partnership with Bill Gates

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears on stage in conversation with US businessman Bill Gates during the Global Investment Summit at the Science Museum on October 19, 2021 in London, England.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears on stage in conversation with US businessman Bill Gates during the Global Investment Summit at the Science Museum on October 19, 2021 in London, England.
Leon Neal - WPA Pool /Getty Images

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a $552 million (~R8 billion) partnership with Bill Gates to boost green investment across the UK, pledging to "rapidly scale up" new clean technologies.

The UK government will join forces with Gates' Breakthrough Energy Catalyst to accelerate the development of green energy, as part of its goal for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Johnson announced the move at the Global Investment Summit in London on Tuesday.

The UK has already committed to at least 200 million pounds for the development and deployment of green technology projects, the Department for International Trade said in an emailed statement, and Gates' programme will now match that investment.

Gates' programme focuses on four technology areas: green hydrogen, long-term energy storage, sustainable aviation fuels and systems for capturing CO2 directly from the air.

The partnership is "a boost to the UK's vision for a green industrial revolution", Johnson said. "We will only achieve our ambitious climate goals if we rapidly scale up new technologies in areas like green hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuels - technologies that seemed impossible just a few years ago."

The agreement comes just two weeks before world leaders arrive in Glasgow for the global climate talks known as COP 26. Johnson told Bloomberg News in an interview the summit would be "extremely tough."

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