Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Climate Change

Miliband warns against climate change cynicism

Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband issued a warning that recent controversies over scientific data must not be allowed to undermine efforts to tackle global warming.

Mr Miliband said the evidence that man-made climate change was occurring was "overwhelming" and was backed by the vast majority of scientists.

He spoke out amid claims that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may have known that a report it issued before last month's summit in Copenhagen exaggerated claims about the melting of the Himalayan glaciers.

The row followed hard on the heels of the disclosure that the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia - already at the centre of a controversy over hacked emails - broke Freedom of Information rules in refusing to release research data.

In an interview with The Observer, Mr Miliband said that such cases must not be allowed to damage efforts to cut carbon emissions and limit further temperature rises.

"It's right that there's rigour applied to all reports about about climate change but I think it would be wrong that when a mistake is made it's somehow used to undermine the overwhelming picture that's there," he said.

"We know there's a physical effect of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leading to higher temperatures, that's a question of physics, we know CO2 concentrations are at their highest for 6,000 years; we know there are observed effects which point to the existence of human made climate change.

"That's what the vast majority of scientists tell us."