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Qatar plans £4bn UK investment to create climate tech unicorns

Qatar climate Image credit: Sven Hansche / Shutterstock

The UK’s climate tech sector could receive a £4bn investment from Qatar as the Middle Eastern nation looks to establish a green energy research facility in southern England.

Funded by the Qatar Foundation, the university-style facility will also be supported by a partnership with Rolls Royce.

As reported by the Sunday Times, £1.5bn will be designated for the seed development of UK green tech startups with the goal of creating new climate unicorns valued at over $1bn.

A project leader told the newspaper that it will be the “MIT for UK energy transition”. They added that the scheme will support the UK’s ability to retain promising clean energy companies as they grow.

“The purpose is to scale up these projects to the level where they can be floated here in the UK, rather than losing our best ideas overseas at their early stage.”

The site will likely be established within the ‘golden triangle’ research area, which includes London, Oxford and Cambridge.

Management consultant McKinsey is reportedly involved in the planning. The project hopes to create 7,500 new jobs by 2030.

The Qatar Foundation said: “We continue to work alongside Rolls-Royce to develop new, leading climate tech ventures and technology hubs, both in the UK and Qatar.”

The foreign investment follows the announcement from the prime minister of a $2bn contribution to the Green Climate Fund.

Announced by Rishi Sunak at a G20 gathering, the contribution is the largest made by the UK towards the global fund.

The Green Climate Fund was established jointly by 194 countries following the Copenhagen Accord at COP15.