• PwC UK’s inaugural Net-Zero Future 50 report showcases 50 climate tech startups from across the country committed decarbonisation efforts
  • UK climate tech bagged more venture capital between 2013-21 than any other cohort in Europe, ranking third globally at £6.5BN, according to PwC UK
  • Notably, deals focused on returns and mature opportunities in the UK, whereas Atomico via Dealroom data in December 2021 gave Sweden the top spot for climate innovation at 4X nearest runner-up per capita

From 2013 to 2021, the UK ranked third globally for VC funding in climate tech behind the US and China, according to PwC UK's inaugural Net Zero Future50 report. VC investments in the UK also reached record levels in the second half of 2020 to the first half of 2021, in excess of £2 billion, and climate tech startups received more funding in Europe from 2013 to June 2021 than any other country - in excess of £6.5 billion.

PwC’s report follows Atomico and Dealroom’s data in the State of European Tech 21 report that Sweden per capita trumped all, at 4X more investment in climate solutions than the nearest European competitors, at roughly 4x ahead of closest runners-up, Finland and Estonia, not least thanks to Stockholm-based Northvolt.  

Group of people in front of solar panels
Image credit: pwc.com

PwC’s includes updated figures on climate tech investments made in the UK. PwC defines climate technologies as products, systems and solutions that will either assist with the global drive to reach net-zero, improve climate resilience, or both.

The report says that globally venture capital in climate tech ballooned from £315.5 million in 2013 to £12.3 billion in 2019. Despite the economic downturn, venture capital investment in climate tech continued to rise exponentially to reach more than £24 billion in the first half of 2021. In the first half of 2021, PwC suggest 14p of every venture capital pound (£) was invested into climate tech.

PwC’s head of disruption and innovation Leo Johnson said:

“The UK has been pivotal in climate tech’s growth over recent years and, with COP26 highlighting the need for climate technology as part of the Glasgow Breakthrough Agenda, the space is emerging rapidly. Technology is not the panacea, but climate tech is a critical mechanism to get us on track to meet the 1.5C goal, and the UK is at the forefront.”

The report concludes that investors have gone for “the low-hanging fruit of well-proven technologies” in the UK, leaving a “series of sectors underfunded [despite] commercially viable approaches with high carbon abatement potential.” These include natural carbon sequestration - particularly marine solutions - and low-carbon aviation and shipping fuels.

FYI/Glasgow Breakthrough Agenda is an international commitment to delivering clean and affordable technology and solutions across the globe by 2030, bringing solutions down to or below price parity with traditional, higher-carbon options.

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