International trade minister Kemi Badenoch has called on Britain to invest in cutting-edge green technologies in order to “future-proof” its economy.
Speaking at a green trade and investment expo in Gateshead today (01 November), Badenoch said technologies to battle climate change create well-paid, skilled jobs and help provide energy security.
The event was hosted by the Department for International Trade (DIT)/Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as part of International Trade Week, reports the Northern Echo.
Her intervention comes as the DIT has released figures on net zero related investment projects that show these have brought £19.8 billion of capital expenditure to the UK in the past two years.
More than 11,000 green jobs have been created by 148 projects, the DIT figures show.
In a statement ahead of her speech, Badenoch said trade and investment could grow the economy and create jobs, reports City AM.
“Now is the time to future-proof our economy by investing in cutting-edge green technology, protecting our long-term energy security and creating thousands of jobs in industries of the future,” she said.
“I am committed to continuing to bang the trading drum for Britain to boost economic growth and level up the UK for generations to come.”
Investment announcements expected at the expo include confirmation of a £26m finance package for Northern Ireland-based bus manufacturer Wrightbus, to support the export of zero emission buses, reports the Independent.
Energy company Flogas will confirm a £50m investment to upgrade the Avonmouth terminal to store liquid petroleum gas and handle renewable biogas and hydrogen, opening up a potential global supply of renewable fuels to the UK.
New industrial revolution
The government has set its sights on a ‘green industrial revolution’ as a route to rebuild the economy after the Covid-19 pandemic, with former prime minister Boris Johnson launching a ‘10-point plan’ in November 2020 to create up to 250,000 new jobs.
Previous trade ministers, such as Anne-Marie Trevelyan, have highlighted the opportunity for Britain to build its exports by becoming a green trade leader.
Minister of state for climate change, Graham Stuart said: “The UK is number one in Europe for renewable investment opportunities, with the highest offshore wind capacity, one of the largest potential CO2 storage bases, and a fast-emerging centre of excellence for hydrogen propulsion and EV batteries.”
The news comes as Britishvolt, an electric car battery company that was facing financial difficulties, appears to have received a late reprieve.
The BBC reports that a last-minute funding deal was reached, preventing a collapse into insolvency.
Britishvolt, based in the Northumbrian town of Blyth, had earlier seen their request for emergency funding rejected by the government and had been preparing to appoint administrators.