EMISSION levels from cars are continuing to rise caused by more drivers moving away from diesel models and the boom SUVs.
CO2 output from cars across Europe rose for the third year running with Britain languishing in 14 place with an average of 127.4g/km per vehicle - an increase of 2.3 per cent.
Only Hungary, Slovakia, Germany, Poland and Switzerland have worse figures in the annual study by vehicle intelligence company JATO Dynamics.
Electric vehicles have so far failed to have an impact on overall air quality and in Britain have only a 1.6 per cent share of the car market at the end of 2019, although demand for EVs is growing rapidly.
Norway, where almost 60 per cent of new cars sold last year were electrified, has the lowest average CO2 emissions of 60.3g/km, down from 72.4g/km in 2018.
JATO says that the rise comes despite new regulations designed to cut emissions such as the introduction of clean air zones in cities.
Last year, the volume weighted average CO2 emissions for European markets were at their highest recorded levels since 2014 with the average for the 23 key markets totalling 121.8g/km under the previous NEDC regime for calculating fuel figures.
Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics, said: "As expected, the combination of fewer diesel registrations and more SUVs continued to have an impact on emissions. We don't anticipate any change to this trend in the mid-term, indeed these results further highlight the industry's need to adopt EVs at a rapid pace to reach emissions targets."
Despite an increase of EV models contributing positively to emission levels, the move away from diesel has had a negative impact and one that the market could not offset.
Mr Munoz continued: "The average emissions of electrified vehicles, was 63.2g/km, almost half that produced by diesel and petrol vehicles. The problem arose because EVs only accounted for six per cent of total registrations, which is not yet a high enough figure to create a positive change."
Of the car brands which were rated the cleanest, Toyota came out on top with its line up helped by the number of hybrids the brand produces which reduced its average emission figure to 99g/km - 14.3g/km below the next best performing company which was France's PSA Group that has Peugeot and Citroen in its stable.
Nissan, Renault, Mitsubishi and Suzuki posted average emissions lower than the total market's average of 121.8g/km. Volkswagen Group, Europe's largest maker recorded an average of 123.6g/km.
Mr Munoz said that the popularity of SUVs was having a negative impact on the average emission levels which was evident by their average CO2 emissions of 131.5g/km - higher than emissions posted from city-cars at 107.7g/km, subcompacts (109.2g/km), compacts (115.3g/km), midsize (117.9g/km), and executive cars (131g/km).
"The SUV segment of the market urgently needs more electrified models," said Mr Munoz. "To date, the focus for EVs has been on traditional hatchbacks and sedans, leaving very few choices in the SUV market. If these vehicles want to keep gaining traction and avoid future sanctions, they need to be electrified."