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Sunday, December 5, 2021

British PM vows to make UK the ‘Qatar of hydrogen’ in fight against climate change 


The British PM announced a Net Zero Strategy as the UK looks up to Qatar’s success in sustainability. 

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK aims to become the “Klondike of carbon capture” and the “Qatar of hydrogen,” as it heads toward a “green industrial revolution.”

Speaking at the Global Investment Summit at the Science Museum in London, Johnson announced plans worth £9.7 billion to boost renewable energy technologies, creating at least 30,000 job vacancies across the country.

This comes as part of the UK’s Net Zero Strategy to shift to green power by 2035. So far, 18 deals have been secured, the official said.

“We want to be the Qatar of hydrogen – I think Qatar may already be the Qatar of hydrogen, but we want to be with you,” Johnson said, expressing his government’s ambition towards implementing sustainable plans to join global efforts in fighting climate change. 

Read also: Qatar could top Australia in hydrogen, energy transition: expert

He also stressed on the global responsibility to act on reducing carbon emissions as “we were the first to knit the deadly tea cosy of CO2 that is now driving climate change.”

The PM stressed the private sector has a substantial role to play in joining national efforts to achieve the goal, highlighting successes in introducing wind power to the market.

 “I can deploy billions – with the approval of the Chancellor, obviously – but you in this room, you can deploy trillions,” the PM said, addressing investors in the private sector. 

He also expressed hope that increasing investment and consumer demand will lead to a drop in prices. 

The deals sought by the UK government support growth in different sectors, including wind and hydrogen energy, sustainable homes and carbon capture and storage.

Green is good. Green is right. Green works. And that is the way ahead for the whole planet.”

During the event, Johnson announced a £400 million partnership with Bill Gates to promote investment in clean energy technologies ahead of the upcoming COP26 summit in Glasgow.

He also confirmed that the government had committed £200 million, with the Microsoft co-founder matching the figure.

The British government is making “big bets” on electric vehicles, gigafactories for battery production, as well as solar power, the PM said, noting hydrogen was an integral part of the solution.

“To drive a digger or a truck or to hurl a massive passenger plane down a runway, you need what Jeremy Clarkson used to call ‘grunt’ – I think there may be a technical term for it – but ‘grunt’,” he said.

“Hydrogen provides that grunt, so we are making big bets on hydrogen, we are making bets on solar and hydro, and, yes – of course – on nuclear as well, for our base-load.”

Earlier, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the international trade secretary, proposed new government plans to replace gas boilers with heat pumps.

Some 90,000 households will receive £5,000 vouchers to replace their gas boiler with a low carbon heat pump to eliminate existing fossil fuel boilers as part of the 2035 vision.

The plan is set to be inaugurated in April 2022, however residents will have to pay part of the fees as the government will not cover the full cost.

Qatar’s fight against climate change 

Authorities in Doha have been employing extensive efforts towards a more sustainable environment, in line with Qatar’s National Vision 2030.

In the wake of fighting climate change and implementing eco-friendly alternatives, the Gulf state has set plans to convert 25% of public transport to electric in 2022 – just in time for the World Cup – with 100% expected by 2030.

Read also: Qatar’s public transport to go 100% electric by 2030

The strategy includes gradually transporting the public bus services, government school buses, and Doha Metro’s buses to full-electric.

It also includes providing and installing over 600 charging devices at bus warehouses and stations, Metro stations and other select locations to support the new electric buses.

This aims to reduce harmful carbon emissions caused by conventional buses in less than a decade from now, in addition to achieving efforts to maintain environmental sustainability.

On Tuesday, Qatar took yet another major step in appointing Minister of Environment and Climate Change Sheikh Dr. Faleh bin Nasser bin Ahmed bin Ali Al Thani to lead national projects concerning the environments as part of the newly-established ministry.

Meanwhile, Qatar’s biggest state-owned liquefied natural gas [LNG] supplier recently announced a new brand identity, changing its name to QatarEnergy to reflect the company’s vision and aspirations to deliver cleaner energy to the world.

Authorities have also vowed to stage the world’s first ever ‘green’ World Cup next year.

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