UK companies are falling behind European firms when it comes to low-carbon investment.
British business contributions accounted for only 3 per cent of the £104bn (€124bn, $135bn) spent last year on low-carbon initiatives such as electric vehicles, renewable energy and smart grids.
German firms spent 11 times as much with carmaker VW investing more than a third of Europe’s total low-carbon spending in 2019.
A report from the climate disclosure organisation CDPand consultancy Oliver Wyman, said Germany, Spain and Italy topped the company league table for low-carbon investment last year while the UK finished sixth, below France and Denmark.
However, UK companies did not fare well because much of the country’s green infrastructure spending is outsourced to foreign companies.
There is pressure on EU-based businesses to do even more. The European Commission has said they need to double investment levels to meet the target of “climate neutrality” by 2050.
The EU recently started a wide-spread consultation on how companies report the social and environmental impact of their activities. Many say the current rules are not tough enough.
This report, though, suggests some businesses are ahead of that push.
"Some European companies are making bold new low-carbon investments to roll out renewables, build greener infrastructure, buy electric vehicles and make manufacturing more energy-efficient," said CDP Europe's managing director Steven Tebbe. "But there is a huge opportunity to do more, and we need to see more action across the board."