Green spending in UK increases by 5 per cent

As the world looks to Copenhagen and the climate change summit, it seems that British consumers are taking their own steps towards a sustainable future.

Spending on green products and services over the past year has increased by 5 per cent, with each UK household now spending on average £251 on items such as energy efficient light bulbs, appliances, carbon offsetting and even "green" mortgages (where often part of the interest paid goes to green projects).

Data from the Co-operative Bank show spending in the UK on environmentally friendly products amounts to more than £6.4bn, but this is still a fraction of total household expenditure.

"Many people in the UK are working hard to adopt a greener lifestyle. But, while ethical consumers play a vital role in the early adoption and development of products and services and now spend more than £6bn a year, this still accounts for less than 1 percent of total household expenditure," said Tim Franklin, chief operating officer at the Co-op.

"For the UK to reduce carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 2020 there will need to be a change in take-up of low carbon technologies. This will need a contract between business, government and the consumer," he added.