Capita has joined forces with other leading British businesses to pledge support for the UK's bid to host the 2020 UN ‘Conference of the Parties’ climate conference (COP26).

Alongside Capita, the following firms – Affinity Water, Anglian Water, BP, Centrica, Drax Group, GKN Automotive, Heathrow, innogy Renewables UK, National Grid, ScottishPower and Shell – are calling on the government to do everything in its power to ensure the landmark conference comes to the UK.

The companies, which span the energy, automotive, professional services, oil and gas and aviation sectors, believe that businesses have a pivotal role to play in the debate around climate and say that hosting COP26 would act as a catalyst for an ambitious climate policy, putting the UK at the forefront of change.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Cabinet and leaders of the opposition, the companies said: "Hosting COP26 would provide the UK with a platform to maximise the opportunities of the global shift to clean growth and showcase to the world the best of the UK. It would be the country’s moment to build further support for a clean growth trajectory, underscore ambitions for a net zero economy in line with the Paris Agreement and set out the opportunity of economic renewal through climate action".

“Together, we can work and move towards a cleaner environment and a more sustainable global economy. I am proud to stand with other businesses to support the government in its bid to bring COP26 to the UK.” Jon Lewis, CEO at Capita

The UK has formally bid to host COP26 and a decision on the host nation for the event is expected to be made by foreign ministers from across Europe and the world, towards the end of June.

COP26 will be the most important UN climate conference since the 2015 Paris Agreement. That commits countries to limit an increase in global warming to 2 degrees or less from pre-industrial levels. At COP26 governments are being asked to agree upon a vision for tackling climate change in the next decade and to spell out the action they will take to meet agreed targets. The UK is recognised around the world for stepping up to the challenge of climate change, cutting emissions by 40% since 1990.

Today clean growth sustains or has created hundreds of thousands of jobs. The firms believe the UK is well placed to build further support for the global clean growth trajectory and to make the case for how countries can transform their economies while tackling climate issues.