One of the main groups representing British businesses has called for a new green investment plan to help the UK economy grow sustainably.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) called on political parties to end short-termism and look to the future ahead of an expected election next year.

“With global instability showing little signs of abating, businesses across the UK are facing a myriad of challenges ahead of the next election,” said its director-general, Rain Newton-Smith.

“The UK economy needs to shift gears from short-term shock absorption to taking the long-term decisions needed to unlock its true potential.”

Among the CBI’s requests for the next Government is a new net zero investment plan, something that has been echoed by major businesses and charities such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

The Government should put in place “ambitious but certain policy commitments”, the CBI said in a report.

It comes weeks after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak rowed back on a series of pledges the Government had made which were designed to help decarbonise the UK.

Many businesses were critical of the decisions, which included pushing back a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2030 to 2035.

He said that he was making “long term decisions for a brighter future”.

In its report, released on Tuesday, the CBI said: “Delivering a net zero economy in the UK will be primarily achieved through private investment. But to enable this, the UK needs ambitious policy, competitive incentives and an operating environment that gets projects delivered.”

The business group also called on the Government to review how businesses help fund local government. This should include reform of business rates – which are essentially council tax for companies.

It also requested a strategy to address shortages in the labour market, increasing people’s skills and allowing immigrants to fill vacancies.

It said that this should include a “comprehensive review” of how effective the visa system is.

“We’re calling on the next Government to show leadership through a reliable a long-term strategy that boosts our competitiveness, addresses labour shortages, honours our climate commitments, prioritises innovation and renews the partnership between business and Government.

“The UK is at its best when politicians and businesses work together. Now is the time to reshape our economy together and deliver on our shared ambitions for the benefit of everyone.”

It has been a turbulent year for the CBI. Early in the year, the Guardian published allegations of inappropriate behaviour, first against its director-general, Tony Danker, and then against several unnamed men within the organisation.

After an investigation, Mr Danker was fired and the CBI also probed its culture in general.

In the wake of his departure, Ms Newton-Smith took up the reins of the group. But this was not before dozens of high-profile members of the CBI had left.

A Government spokesman said: “The UK is a global leader in clean energy, having attracted £200 billion in low carbon investment since 2010, with a further £100 billion expected by 2030, powering up Britain and supporting up to 480,000 jobs.”