Britain secures £6bn in green investment boom

Capital stimulus creates 56,000 jobs as PM Boris Johnson prepares for Global Investment Summit

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the Envision AESC battery manufacturing plant inside the Nissan plant in Sunderland. Reuters
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Britain has attracted about £6 billion ($8.21bn) of green investment since UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled his 10-point plan for “a green industrial revolution" in November last year, the government said on Thursday.

More than £5.8bn of that figure is from foreign investment in green projects, with total capital helping to create at least 56,000 jobs in the UK’s clean industries, the Department of International Trade said.

The green investment boom bolsters Mr Johnson’s ambitions for Britain to become a leader in green technology and finance, as he prepares to host the Global Investment Summit in October – to attract more direct financing from overseas – as well as the Cop26 environmental summit in Glasgow next month.

The data shows “that going green means creating high-quality jobs across the United Kingdom” Mr Johnson said, citing positions already created in electric vehicle manufacturing in Sunderland, hydrogen plants in Teesside and offshore wind in Northumberland, Yorkshire and Humber.

“Since the launch of our 10-point plan, businesses across the country have attracted international investment in the industries of the future, ensuring we build back better and greener,” he said.

Britain committed to banning sales of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 when it unveiled its green plan last year, which came with a £12bn budget and ambitions to support up to 250,000 highly skilled green jobs in the UK and unlock three times as much private sector investment by 2030.

The plan also included further investment in nuclear power, wind energy, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage, with broader aims to make Britain a world leader in carbon-capture technology and the City of London a "global centre of green finance".

Green investment since then includes more than £650m in advancing offshore wind this year alone, creating 3,600 jobs across the Humber and North-East and more than £900m in accelerating the shift to zero-emissions vehicles.

Examples include a £400m battery gigafactory, part of a £1bn project between Envision AESC, the battery division of green tech company Envision Group, Nissan and Sunderland Council to create a flagship electric vehicle hub in the North-East.

“The UK is fully capitalising on the global green industrial revolution, showing the world how business and industry can remain competitive and attract international investment in this race to secure new green industries,” said Kwasi Kwarteng, the Business and Energy Secretary.

“As we power on with our plan to back new British industries – from car battery makers to wind turbine designers – we are laying the foundations for a new era of green jobs and decades of economic growth to come.”

The green investment boost comes before next week’s Global Investment Summit in London, during which Britain hopes to persuade 200 leading industry figures from across the globe to invest in the UK's green businesses and innovation as the country strives to meet its net-zero target by 2050.

“Inward investment helps level up the UK by making companies more profitable, which means they can invest back into local economies and create stronger supply chains, meaning more sustainable communities for the future," International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said.

Updated: October 14, 2021, 9:30 PM