Cameron tells UK Parliament climate change a “serious threat”

Prime minister says he is committed to action as Labour opposition warn floods are ‘wake-up call’

(Pic: BBC)

Source: BBC

By Ed King

Prime minister David Cameron has told MPs climate change is “one of the most serious threats” facing the UK and the world.

He was responding to a series of questions from opposition leader Ed Miliband, who accused the government of harbouring climate sceptics in senior positions.

Cameron said the public could “measure the convictions by the acts in government”, arguing the launch of a Green Investment Bank and plans for new nuclear power plants prove he is committed to a low carbon future.

“The truth about climate change is that this government has a programme to reduce carbon right across our economy, and we started with the government itself…compared with the government he left when he was climate secretary the government’s own emissions are down 14%,” he said.

Green crap?! No more! PM blasts: “Man made climate change is one of the most serious threats this country faces!” #pmqs

— steve hawkes (@steve_hawkes) February 26, 2014

A month of storms, heavy rains and widespread flooding has propelled climate change back onto the political agenda in the UK.

Cameron had made the environment a major part of his election strategy in 2010, but the appointment of climate sceptic ministers such as Owen Paterson and an alleged pledge to ‘cut the green crap’ left many believing he was no longer concerned.

His comments were welcomed by the Conservative energy and climate change minister Greg Barker, who tweeted: “PM bang on! Ed M talks a good game on #ClimateChange but that wasn’t matched by his record in office. We are proud of our real achievements!”

But Miliband, who appears ready to make this one of the defining issues of next year’s General Election, said he was not satisfied with Cameron’s answer.

“The whole country will have heard he cannot answer the question about whether you need to believe in man-made climate change to be part of his government – he’s gone from thinking it’s a basic part of his credo to be a matter for individual conscience.”

The Labour leader subsequently tweeted a link to his party’s website, where he asked potential supporters: Will you pledge to tackle climate change?

Last week leading military experts told RTCC climate change should be regarded as a national security threat.

Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti, a former Royal Navy aircraft carrier commander and chief UK climate envoy in 2013, said no-one could afford to ignore the risks.

“We live in a globalised world where you can’t pull up the drawbridge in Dover, or in the Med. The reality is that what we’ve seen…the impacts of events being felt thousands of miles away,” he said.

“I think we have become increasingly focused on Beachy Head rather than Ras Al-Hadd in the Middle East, in the Gulf, which is really our backyard.”

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