The final nail in the coffin for the greenest government ever?

David Cameron has turned the UK from being a world leader on tackling climate change into a "laggard" because he no longer believes it to be a "fashionable" subject, according to Ed Miliband.

Writing in the Independent on Sunday, the Labour leader launches an attack on the prime minister ahead of the UN climate talk in Peru later this week and after an Autumn Statement last week that made no mention of climate change.

Any lingering pretence that David Cameron or George Osborne represent a form of 'modern compassionate Conservatism' was finally extinguished by this week's Autumn Statement.

  • Ed Miliband

When he was elected as leader of the Conservatives in 2005 Mr Cameron was keen to embrace the environment as he sought to modernise the party.

He even pledged to lead the "greenest government ever" when the Coalition came to power in 2010, but Mr Miliband believes he has made a “long retreat from the principles in which he once claimed to believe”.

The leadership and political consensus we once offered the world have been replaced by dither and denial.

Ahead of these talks in Lima, the Prime Minister has ignored pleas from the Foreign Office to raise climate change in his recent meetings with Chinese leaders.

  • Ed Miliband

Some of Mr Cameron's perceived failings include signing up to the bare minimum required on EU-wide carbon emission reductions of 40 per cent by 2030, deterring investment in renewable energy and wanting to get rid of the “green crap” altogether.

Mr Miliband writes that the talks in Lima “are our best chance yet to secure a binding international agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions".

The [talks] are crucial to anyone who cares about our economic future, the environment our children will inherit, and, as the floods last winter showed, the national security of our country.

  • Ed Miliband

Climate change secretary Ed Davey however rebuffed Mr Miliband's criticism and said that this week the government would give details of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund, a £30m pot for people to improve energy efficiency in their homes and highlighted the £450m already allocated to this area over the next three years.

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