(22 July): Boris Johnson announced 350 million pounds ($616 million) of funding to help drive down greenhouse gas emissions from heavy industry, construction, space and transport as he seeks to bolster his environmental credentials and boost the UK’s economic recovery from coronavirus.

The cash will go into projects to scale up the use of hydrogen as a fuel, develop carbon capture and storage technology, and driving the use of “innovative materials” in heavy industry, Johnson’s office said late Tuesday in a statement. On Wednesday, the premier will hold the first meeting of the government’s new Jet Zero Council to help cut flight emissions.

The UK is trying to decarbonize its economy by 2050 to meet its own legally-binding “net zero” target, and both Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak have pledged to ensure the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is a “green” one. The latest funding follows 3 billion pounds of investment in insulation announced by Sunak earlier this month.

“It’s more important than ever that we keep up the pace of change to fuel a green, sustainable recovery as we rebuild from the pandemic,” Johnson said in the statement. “The UK now has a huge opportunity to cement its place at the vanguard of green innovation, setting an example worldwide while growing the economy and creating new jobs.”

The latest package includes:

  • 139 million pounds to cut emissions in heavy industry by funding clean hydrogen and carbon capture and storage programs
  • 149 million pounds to drive the use of innovative materials in heavy industry, including reusing waste ash in the glass and ceramics industry, and developing recyclable steel
  • 36 million pounds to develop new building techniques and technology that cut carbon emissions in the construction industry
  • 15 million pounds from the UK Space Agency, including 10 million pounds for projects to monitor climate change
  • 10 million pounds for research and development in the automotive sector, to help companies make more efficient electric motors or more powerful batteries