Badenoch pledges £100bn green investment but slams eco-warriors

Extinction Rebellion protesters superglue themselves to Speaker's chair

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Kemi Badenoch has said the UK will drive up to £100bn of private investment into green industries. The Secretary of State for International Trade hit out at climate change activists for “throwing soup at paintings in museums or gluing themselves to the road”, saying: “That’s not really my style.” She warned the UK needs to tackle climate change “in a way that does not impoverish” the country.

Ms Badenoch said the plans, which will see Britain invest in cutting-edge green technologies, will “future-proof the UK”.

In a speech to the green trade and investment expo in Gateshead today, Ms Badenoch said new technologies to combat climate change are creating high-paying skilled jobs while providing a route to future energy security.

Her comments come amid warnings that the UK battery start-up, Britishvolt, which had been developing a £3.8 billion gigafactory in Blyth, Northumberland, is facing potential administration, putting almost 300 jobs at risk.

Ms Badenoch said: “Some people raise awareness of climate change by throwing soup at paintings in museums or glueing themselves to the road. That’s not really my style.

“We in this room know that we can only tackle climate change by using free trade and investment to accelerate green technological progress.

“And we must do this in a way that does not impoverish the UK.”

She said the UK Government is focussing on “building our green industrial base”, explaining: “Right now, we’re creating a pipeline of brilliant opportunities for investors.

“In our British Energy Security and Net Zero Strategies we set out plans to drive £100 billion worth of private sector investment into green industries, including offshore wind by 2030.

“As you’ve already heard this morning, we’ve given ourselves an ambition of up to 50GW of offshore wind capacity by that same date – more than enough to power every home in the UK.

“Those of you who visited Teesside yesterday will see how we’re supporting development of technology like carbon capture and storage, as well as low-carbon hydrogen. And we’re doing some pioneering work in nuclear.”

In her speech, she also confirmed a £26 million finance package for the Northern Ireland-based bus manufacturer Wrightbus, to support the export of zero emission buses around the world – including to Australia and Germany.

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Last month, two Extinction Rebellion climate activists were arrested in Melbourne after glueing themselves to a Picasso painting at the National Gallery of Victoria.

The activists glued themselves to the glass covering of “Picasso’s Massacre in Korea,” standing alongside a banner that read “Climate Chaos = War and Famine.”

Earlier this week, another Extinction Rebellion activist, Jelle de Graaf, glued himself to a desk on a Dutch talk show.

The activist appeared on the Dutch television show Jinek to discuss Just Stop Oil protesters glueing themselves to Vermeer’s The Girl with the Pearl Earring earlier this week, when he jumped onto the desk and proceeded to glue himself to the table.

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