Tackling climate change by cutting carbon emissions could create huge opportunities for start-ups and small businesses in the 'clean-tech' industry, which is tipped to be one of the leading sectors over the next decade.
The Carbon Trust is expanding its business incubator scheme, which so far has helped 90 companies raise more than £80m in private funding.
The trust is looking for 25 new start-ups to join the scheme, offering up to £70,000 of support to each.
According to the Government-backed Carbon Trust, which sponsors projects to reduce greenhouse gases, the economic benefits of investing in a range of clean technologies could generate up to £70bn for the nation's economy.
Dave Raval, head of the Carbon Trust business incubation scheme, says: 'The UK has a reputation for being good at innovation but poor at commercialisation.
'There are a lot of small firms with sound ideas that are going bust because they can't access the finance they need to develop them.
Bank lending is still difficult to obtain and expensive and private investment is scarce because the venture capital community has less cash available and is reluctant to invest in early stage, higher risk opportunities.'
But some clean-tech companies have been successful. Oxford Yasa Motors, a spinoff from Oxford University's department of engineering science, has secured £1.45m of private investment from Seven Spires Investments to help take its lightweight electric motors to market, initially via the high-performance automotive sector.
The business devised the electric motor for the Morgan LIFEcar - an electric vehicle project being undertaken by the Morgan Motor Company - starting with £75,000 from the Oxford University Challenge Seed fund last year.
It has secured £500,000 in sales so far. Chief executive Nick Farrant says: 'The electric motor is going to happen, with progress accelerated by prospects of rising oil prices.
'There is no shortage of innovation activity among small technology and design firms and several players in sports and general motoring are looking to invest in lowcarbon alternatives.
'Our plan is to establish the product in the niche automotive sector and use that as a route into the high volume mass market.'
The motor is more efficient than its counterparts and it could be used for aerospace and industrial applications.