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UK-Qatar fund for low carbon firms

The UK has entered into a long-term strategic partnership with Qatar, which will see the UK swapping its renewable energy expertise for the Gulf States’ millions as both countries speed up the move towards a low-carbon economy.

Under the Memorandum of Understanding signed earlier this week, the Carbon Trust and the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) have agreed to set up a £250 million Qatar-UK Clean Technology Investment Fund, injecting venture capital into suitable clean energy businesses in the UK.

The fund, which will be managed by CT Investment Partners LLP, will also consider investing in firms based in Europe. Once a feasibility study has been carried out and a Low Carbon Innovation Centre has been established in Qatar, the fund will begin to invest in clean energy business based in the Gulf.

The QIA has committed £150 million to the fund, while the Carbon Trust has pledged £10 million. The fund will look to private investors to stump up the remaining funds.

With the UK entering a long and deep recession, and finance and credit drying up in other markets, Gordon Brown has been keen to attract investment from oil-rich nations.

Ed Miliband, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said: “The Carbon Trust/Qatar partnership will be of mutual benefit. It will use British expertise in renewable technology, matching it with investment from Qatar and the private sector in Britain. It will help us take another step on the road to a green revolution.”

Tom Delay, Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust, said: “Mitigating climate change will bring a wealth of new business opportunities as low carbon technologies are developed and commercialised. This new, clean technology fund will put the UK at the heart of low carbon innovation. Investing in home grown companies developing cutting edge technologies  will enable the UK to benefit commercially from the move to a low carbon economy.”