Boris secures £400 million pledge from Bill Gates for ‘low carbon aviation’ in shock deal

COP26: Boris outlines deal with Gates for 'low carbon aviation'

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Speaking at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow on Tuesday, Mr Johnson told the audience how he had struck a fresh deal to tackle greenhouse gas emisisons with one of the world’s richest men.

He said: “I want to see from the Glasgow breakthroughs a new surge of initiatives to deal with some of the outstanding problems. And let me give you one in particular: that is aviation.”

Mr Johnson noted how the aviation industry and adapting it to be more environmentally friendly is a “tough nut to crack”.

But in a surprise moment he revealed how he had in fact cracked a deal with multi-billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates to take action on the industry which has a detrimental impact on the climate.

The Prime Minister said: “Bill and I just agreed jointly to spend £400 million trying to solve the problems of low carbon aviation.”

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He described the initiative as “zero, guilt free aviation.”

Mr Johnson went on to allude to the aircraft which he is travelling back to Downing Street in this afternoon has “35 percent” sustainable aviation fuel.

He added: “The target at the moment is to get to 10 percent sustainable aviation fuel for the whole world by 2030. How pathetic is that? We can do better than that, folks.”

Speaking at a Global Investment Summit alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Gates said investment was needed to further develop new technologies that were currently too expensive for the consumer market.

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Mr Gates said he would work with the UK to identify which projects should be backed, and that he expected at least one of the projects to be ready to scale up in the next five years.

He said: “We will scale those up and bring down that cost, so we’ll get these to the same place we are today with solar and onshore wind and so they can be scaled up to reduce emissions.”

Johnson’s government said the £400 million pound deal with Mr Gates, of which the billionaire will give around £200 million, will supercharge green tech investment across Britain.

Mr Gates, who is worth an estimated $136.1 billion has given billions to charities working towards ending poverty and solving climate change.

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It comes as the UK is hosting COP26, the international climate change summit in Glasgow, seen as crucial to bringing the climate crisis under control.

The goal is to keep warming limited to 1.5C by 2100 despite the the world being currently on track for 2.7C. But the UN have warned if temperatures are allowed to rise this high, there will be a “climate catastrophe”.

COP26 president and Conservative Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, Alok Sharma, says the summit is the world’s “last, best hope” to achieve the target. Nearly 200 countries are being called on to take urgent action on climate change at the summit.

But notable absences of China, the world’s top contributor of CO2 emissions, and Russia, are being branded as setbacks in achieving the aims of the summit.

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