* UK announces 9.7 bln pounds of green investment
* Johnson seeks to harness trillions of the markets
* UK to partner with Bill Gates on emerging green tech
LONDON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris
Johnson announced nearly 10 billion pounds ($13.72 billion) of
private investment in green projects on Tuesday and courted the
"trillions of the markets" in a speech to the world's top
financiers and executives.
The Global Investment Summit in London marks post-Brexit
Britain's biggest push to woo investors, even leveraging the
soft power of drinks with Queen Elizabeth at her castle, as it
seeks cash and partners to get ahead in the international race
for green technology.
"We need urgent government action, but we must mobilize the
markets, we must bring in the private sector," Johnson said in
an opening address on meeting the challenge of climate change.
"You in this room, you can deploy trillions - indeed I'm
given to understand that there's $24 trillion represented in
this room - ... and so I want to say to each and every one of
those dollars: you're very welcome in the UK."
The government announced private investment deals worth 9.7
billion pounds, including 6 billion pounds in offshore wind from
Iberdrola, as well as for net zero carbon warehouses
and decarbonisation technology for the waste industry.
Johnson and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates announced a 400
million pound joint investment partnership, targeting
technologies such as green hydrogen, long-term energy storage
and sustainable aviation fuels.
"We will scale those up and bring down that cost, so we'll
get these to the same place we are today with solar and onshore
wind, and so they can be scaled up to reduce emissions," Gates
said, speaking alongside Johnson.
Making the case for investment in Britain, Johnson adapted
the "Greed is Good" credo of Gordon Gekko, the fictional banker
from 1980s film "Wall Street."
"Green is good, green is right, green works," he said.
Attendees at the event at London's Science Museum included
JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon,
Blackrock CEO Larry Fink and bosses from GlaxoSmithKline
Officials hope the summit will bring a new wave of
investments over the next 12 months. More than 100 private
meetings were set to take place in exhibition halls adorned with
planes, spacecraft and other artifacts of Britain's engineering
DRINKS WITH THE QUEEN
France has held a similar investment summit in recent years.
After the conference, attendees will travel to Windsor
Castle for a reception attended by the queen and other senior
"This summit is not just a showcase, but an opportunity to
come together and, in the generous spirit of collaboration,
forge new partnerships," the queen said in a foreword for the
Britain's green credentials are in the spotlight two weeks
before it hosts the U.N. COP26 climate summit, where Johnson
will try to broker a complex international deal to stall rising
He played down fears that some important players, including
the leaders of China and Russia, would not attend COP26. China's
climate envoy will attend the summit but it has been reported
that President Xi Jinping will not.
The government said last year it would prioritize green
technology and climate goals in Britain's economic recovery from
the COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday it published a 368-page
strategy to reach net zero carbon by 2050.
That gambit is central to Johnson's political agenda too: he
was elected in 2019 on a pledge to reinvigorate post-industrial
regions and create higher-skilled, better-paid jobs.
As part of its push for greener technology, the government
said on Tuesday it would increase to 5,000 pounds grants
available to homeowners to remove their gas boilers and replace
them with alternative home heating systems such as heat pumps.
($1 = 0.7290 pounds)
(Reporting by William James; Editing by Alex Richardson and