Tech Nation report

VC investment in climate tech rises since COP26

David Farquhar of Intelligent Growth Solutions

Technology companies tackling climate change have seen a strong uplift in venture capital investment since the COP26 summit in Glasgow.

VC investment rose by 62% to $926 million in the 100 days from 31 October – the first day of the summit – to 8 February compared with the same period a year earlier.

November saw $345m invested, while in December companies received $354m, both surpassing the monthly average for 2021 by more than 52%.

Scotland and the East of England attracted a high level (over $55m) of investment in November.

The analysis by Tech Nation, the growth platform for tech scaleups, reveals the first tangible evidence that the global gathering last November influenced investor behaviour towards the climate agenda.

The number of climate tech ‘unicorns’ – companies valued at over $1 billion – increased by 36 globally in the 100 days following COP26.

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In the UK, Edinburgh-based Intelligent Growth Solutions, Bluewater Bio, Cushon, Pangaia and Tevva all joined the rank of so-called ‘futurecorns’ – companies valued between $250m and $1bn, pushing the total number from 11 to 15.

In this same period, the number of climate tech companies globally increased by 19% to 5,610. In Europe, company creation increased by 19% and in the UK by 13%. 

So far in 2022, employment in climate tech companies has increased to 26,800, an increase of 25% from the close of 2021 where total employment in the sector equaled 21,000. 

In less than a quarter of 2022, the total number of jobs created in the climate tech sector (5,400) is already greater than the total jobs created in the sector in 2021 (5,000), demonstrating the socio-economic benefit of the acceleration in climate tech, on top of the clear environmental benefits.

Sammy Fry, net zero lead at Tech Nation, said: “It’s promising to see high levels of investment and employment following the conference, but the next 100 days will be even more telling of the true momentum towards net zero.

“Climate tech companies need to scale further and faster than any other technology has before. To meet the demand for technology that will save the planet, we will need to see record levels of investment, access to world-leading talent, expertise, and cross-sector collaboration.”

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