Britain to create 1 billion pound fund for clean energy technology

By Kylie MacLellan

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will create a 1 billion pound ($1.25 billion) fund for scientists around the world to create and test new technology to help developing countries reduce carbon emissions, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will say on Monday.

At the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Johnson will call for greater global action to tackle what he will describe as the twin threats of climate change and biodiversity loss. He will also announce a 220 million pound fund to help save endangered animals like the black rhino, African elephant, snow leopard and Sumatran tiger.

The Ayrton Fund, named after British physicist and suffragette Hertha Ayrton, will consist of aid money for British and foreign scientists and engineers to develop new clean energy technology in partnership with developing countries.

“If we get this right, future generations will look back on climate change as a problem that we solved by determined global action and the prowess of technology,” Johnson said in a statement ahead of his visit to New York.

“This innovative use of aid money benefits all of us and shows how we can use our aid budget to tackle climate change. The Ayrton Fund will back scientists and our world-leading tech industry – reducing emissions in the poorest countries with the help of our home-grown talent.”

The money is intended help developing countries cut emissions through measures like using solar technology, improving large-scale battery technology to replace diesel generators, designing clean stoves to cut firewood use, using low-emission and electric vehicles and cutting emissions from factories in polluting industries like iron and steel.

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The 220-million-pound biodiversity fund will also invest in projects to tackle illegal wildlife trade by strengthening law enforcement, training anti-poaching rangers and helping communities find alternative ways to make a living.

“We cannot just sit back and watch as priceless endangered species are wiped off the face of the earth by our own carelessness and criminality,” Johnson said.

“We are ramping up UK efforts with a new action plan to save the natural world. And I’d like to see leaders in New York this week pledge to do the same.”

Britain will also commit nearly 40 million pounds to protect and preserve the world’s forests.

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