UK and Qatar launch £250m cleantech fund

A meeting between the two countries’ prime ministers, Gordon Brown and Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al-Thani, has resulted in the launch of Europe-focused cleantech fund and the creation of a 'Low Carbon Innovation Centre' in Qatar.

The UK Government’s Carbon Trust has signed an agreement with Qatari sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, to form the £250 million (€313 million; $399 million) Qatar-UK Clean Technology Investment Fund.

It will target venture capital investments in European clean energy businesses focusing primarily on the UK.

Cleantech: bright ideas

The agreement between the nations’ two prime ministers, dubbed the Low Carbon Innovation Partnership, also paves the way for the creation of a Low Carbon Innovation Centre in Qatar, which will share knowledge on the development, commercialisation and deployment of low carbon technology between the UK and Qatar.

The £250 million fund target includes a £150 million commitment from the QIA, an as yet unspecified commitment from the Carbon Trust and the remainder to be raised from external investors.

“Today’s announcement is an excellent example of the partnerships we need between oil producing and oil consuming countries to develop new energy sources and technologies, diversifying our economies and reducing our carbon emissions,” said British prime minister Gordon Brown in a statement.

The Carbon Trust is a UK Government-backed organisation formed to offer guidance to businesses on reducing their carbon footprints. CT Investment Partners, which will manage the Qatar-UK Clean Technology Investment Fund, is the Carbon Trust’s venture capital division.