The discussions were held ahead of a summit next week between the European Union and China.
Mr Thomas is keen to look at the potential offered by China's efforts to stimulate its economy through investment in environmental measures.
In advance of this morning's meeting with business leaders, not-for-profit organisation E3G and Chatham House, Mr Thomas said: “These dynamic ideas for tackling emissions in China could form a central plank in the global effort to address climate change and present a substantial opportunity for British business partnerships in China.
“We have the skills, expertise and technologies to take a leading role in helping China meet its ambitions to convert to an energy-secure, low carbon economy and we should seize the moment.'”
Policies being promoted by China include the establishment of Low Carbon Development Zones with Chinese cities and regions acting as pilots for schemes to promote a low carbon future.
The UK and other EU partners are hoping a commitment will be made by both Europe and China to draw up detailed proposals for co-operation.
Already, a number of large cities and provinces have expressed interest in the zones, with Guangdong province incorporating the low carbon zone concept into its five year plan.
Mr Thomas said: 'It will be for China to set out the framework for its low carbon development. But we want to ensure that UK and EU businesses have an opportunity to help shape the way in which the EU responds to their ideas.”