British scientists and innovators will be able to access up to £1bn of aid funding to develop and test new technology targeted at tackling climate change in developing countries, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce at the UN General Assembly today.
The Prime Minister will launch the innovative new Ayrton Fund to give developing countries access to the latest cutting-edge tech to help reduce their emissions and meet global climate change targets.
British expertise is already at the forefront of clean energy and global efforts to fight climate change. The UK has harnessed the power of renewable energy to cut emissions by over 40% – faster than any other G20 country.
British engineers are also helping revolutionise zero-emission transport at home and abroad. Last year, one in five electric vehicles sold in Europe was made in the UK.
The new fund is named after leading British scientist and suffragette Hertha Ayrton – a pioneering physicist, mathematician and inventor whose work contributed to major scientific advancements at the turn of the 20th century, including in electricity.
Her research into the flow of water and air also inspired the Ayrton fan which was used on the Western Front in the First World War to dispel poison gas from British soldiers in the trenches.
Speaking ahead of today’s climate change event at the UN, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Britain is a nation of innovators. Our scientists have been at the forefront of technological advancement for generations, pioneering world-changing inventions like the jet engine, the television and the lightbulb.
“I have always been deeply optimistic about the potential of technology to make the world a better place. 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.
“The new fund I’m launching today rightly honours Hertha Ayrton – one of Britain’s most extraordinary minds who drove relentlessly to improve our scientific understanding and left a legacy of innovation and creativity for which the world owes an immeasurable debt.
“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.”