In this week’s green round-up, we look at what the government is doing to help the UK economy bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic while looking ahead to a green future. Launching new innovation challenges, providing funding for green projects & continuing to put the COP26 at the heart of the governments messaging for the year are all positive steps to a greener future.
The Government launches 3 new green innovation challenges
The UK government has launched 3 new innovation challenges to help spur progress in key industires related to the green recovery. The areas targeted by these innovation challenges are energy storage technologies, floating offshore wind & biomass production.
The UK is already a world leader in generating power via offshore wind but wants to improve the technologies surrounding floating rather than static turbines. The challenges will contribute to innovation and continue to allow the UK to lead. The industries will help to support thousands of skilled jobs across all areas of the country, grow the economy and help deliver the prime ministers 10point plan.
Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: ‘’The UK’s energy innovators have been vital to us becoming a world-leader in clean green technology, helping us to go further and faster as we tackle climate change.’’
- the biomass feedstocks innovation competition is now open to applications
- the energy storage innovation competition will formally open to bids in Spring 2021. Lodge an expression of interest in the energy storage competition
- the floating offshore wind innovation competition will formally open to bids in Spring 2021. Lodge an expression of interest in the offshore wind competition
Grants of up to £2 million each are now available to help the nation build back greener from the coronavirus pandemic
The first round of grants from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund in November 2020 provided £40million in funding to 68 projects across the UK. The second round of funding can now be applied for by environmental charities and their partners to help create and retain jobs. The projects that are funded by the Green Recovery Challenge will also help to tackle climate change and contribute to the UKs leadership as the government gears up to hosting the COP26.
All projects must contribute to at least one of the following themes of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund:
- nature conservation and restoration;
- nature-based solutions, particularly focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation; and,
- connecting people with nature.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said ‘’I am delighted to launch the second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund to help kick-start more projects to restore nature, tackle climate change and create and retain thousands of jobs as society comes together for our planet. ‘’
‘’This is more important than ever as we build back greener from the coronavirus pandemic.’’
Hitachi announced as the latest sponsor for COP26
Hitachi is the latest organisation to be announced as a sponsor for COP26, the United Nations climate change summit hosted in Glasgow this November. Business play a vital role in aligning their manufacturing and business practices to those of governments across the world.
Hitachi joins as the seventh principal sponsor of the event alongside, SSE, Scottish Power, Natwest Group, National Grid, Sky and Sainsburys. The company has committed to being carbon neutral at all its offices & factories globally by 2030.
Toshiaki Higashihara, President and CEO of Hitachi, Ltd. Said ‘’Climate change is a very real and immediate threat to humanity. As a company, we have a vision to solve environmental challenges and secure a more prosperous planet for future generations. Our collaboration with COP26 is consistent with our corporate mission starting more than 110 years ago, when Hitachi was founded to contribute to society through the development of superior, original technologies and products.’
‘’Our aim is to help achieve a society that is low carbon, resource efficient and harmonized with nature and we believe COP26 is a significant step forward in the creation of a decarbonised society.’’