The UK’s leading power utility bosses have united to urge the government and the European Commission to put climate and energy on a par with security and defence in the Brexit negotiations.

The company businesses and investors have sent a joint letter to Michel Barnier and David Davis calling for an “ambitious” EU-UK climate and energy agreement in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

They urge the commission’s chief Brexit negotiator and the UK government’s secretary of state for exiting the EU to develop a comprehensive climate and energy chapter covering both trade and non-trade issues.

Welcoming the intention to prioritise security and defence in the negotiations, the letter calls for this commitment to be extended to combatting climate change.

It says: “This will help to ensure our climate and energy security is protected, it will foster innovation and economic growth and it will help ensure the EU and UK remain leaders in the global battle against climate change.

“The integration of energy markets and climate policies across Europe has enhanced energy and climate security and reduced energy bills in the UK and the EU 27. The Brexit negotiations should aim to ensure that these benefits continue in the future.”

The letter’s signatories include Paul Coffey, CEO of Npower and UK chair of Innogy, Vincent Dufour, group senior vice president of European Affairs at EDF, Tom Glover, UK country chair of RWE, Michael Lewis, CEO of Eon UK, Peter Simpson, CEO of Anglian Water and Lawrence Slade, CEO of Energy UK.

What to read next