International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch has called for the UK to invest in innovative green tech as a way to “future-proof” the economy.
Speaking ahead of a speech at the Green Trade and Investment Expo in Gateshead, the MP said: “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.”
Badenoch pointed to the “£20bn in green investment” previously secured by the government and stated she is “committed to continuing to bang the trading drum for Britain to boost economic growth and level up the UK for generations to come”.
The endorsement of green tech investments from a UK cabinet member comes after concerns from environmentalists over the climate credentials of the recently resigned prime minister, Liz Truss.
Truss, a known supporter of fracking and a net-zero sceptic, brought fears that environmental progress in the UK was being undone. Sunak has historically voted in line with his party and according to They Work For You he has “generally voted against measures to prevent climate change”. However, while chancellor the Treasury completed its Net-Zero Review and other measures have given campaigners some cause for optimism.
The Green Trade and Investment Expo is an event hosted by the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to discuss investment into the green economy.
“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,” said Minister of State for Climate Change Graham Stuart.
“The deals struck here in Gateshead will not just bolster our country’s green transition and energy security but will grow the UK’s economy – supporting livelihoods and helping in our fight against climate change.”
Among the announcements expected at the expo is a £26m finance package for the Northern Irish electric and hydrogen bus manufacturer Wrightbus.