A £5 million fund will help develop new technology to harness CO2 and use it for commercial purposes within a low-carbon economy, the Scottish Government has announced.

The CO2 Utilisation Challenge fund aims to aid businesses and organisations make use of emerging technology to convert Co2 – the biggest contributor to climate change emissions – into commercially useful forms, such as synthetic fuels and aquaculture proteins.

Earlier this month, the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) proposed carbon utilisation as one of the potential strategies for achieving net-zero CO2 emissions from the industrial sector.

The fund will be administered by Scottish Enterprise and match-funded by industry, and could therefore amount to over £10 million over the course of its two-year timetable.

Net Zero and Energy Secretary Michael Matheson (below) commented: “The Scottish Government is fully committed to helping Scotland become a net zero economy. The IPCC’s latest reports show that the impacts of climate change are even worse than previously thought and that business as usual is not an option.

“We know that, in order to deliver on our targets, we must develop and grow innovative technologies like carbon capture and utilisation, alongside carbon capture and storage.

The National:

“Promising early work around potential uses for captured CO2 shows that CO2 utilisation has real potential to help develop a circular economy while providing opportunities for our workforces and economic benefits for a range of different sectors.

“Whilst the UK Government have so far failed to sufficiently back carbon capture and storage in Scotland, the launch of this £5m fund underlines our commitment to making sure Scotland is at the forefront of new industrial opportunities that will result from a future with carbon capture, utilisation and storage deployment.”

The head of low carbon transition at Scottish Enterprise, Andy McDonald, said: “This fund will boost this dynamic and emerging sector by facilitating the creation of more high-value jobs while also helping Scotland reach its net zero emissions target.”