A group of the most influential business bosses in the UK are to use their upcoming meeting with prime minister Tony Blair to urge him to do more to reduce harmful gas emissions.

The business leaders, many of whom head some of Britain’s most successful companies, believe that if Britain takes a tougher stance on CO2 and other harmful gas emissions it will crucially ensure the UK industry’s position at the technological forefront of the green evolution, while also securing the nation’s future prosperity.

Bosses from companies such as Tesco and Shell will urge the prime minister to ratchet up legislation limiting the release of polluting gases by businesses when they meet with Mr Blair in Downing Street on June 6.

The delegation will also tell the prime minister that a harder line on environmental issues would inspire UK industry to find ways to be greener, thus giving it a competitive edge as a pioneer of a greener future.

The group also believes such action is needed to set an example of commitment to change to those in the developing world where increases in energy consumption rates are at their highest.