EU referendum: Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn to join forces in climate change warning

'Every major climate change agreement has involved EU leadership.  So when it comes to climate change Britain stands taller and is stronger inside the EU'

Ashley Cowburn
Friday 27 May 2016 10:11 BST
Comments
It comes amid reports that the Labour leader is attempting to persuade his predecessor to return to the Shadow Cabinet following the referendum
It comes amid reports that the Labour leader is attempting to persuade his predecessor to return to the Shadow Cabinet following the referendum (PA)

Jeremy Corbyn and Ed Miliband will publicly join forces to warn that Britain’s membership of the European Union is vital in the fight against climate change.

In their first major appearance together since the Labour leader took over the party eight months ago, Mr Miliband and Mr Corbyn will share a platform together at Raventhorpe solar farm to emphasise the central role the pair believe the EU has had in tackling climate change.

The intervention by Mr Miliband, who led the Labour party to a bruising election defeat in May last year, could also quell rumours of tensions between the two men.

In a speech Mr Corbyn will claim that climate change “is one of the greatest fights of our generation” and that green spaces, clean beaches and fresh air “we want to leave for our children” could be at threat if the UK votes for Brexit on June 23.

The warning comes amid reports that the Labour leader is attempting to persuade his predecessor to return to the Shadow Cabinet following the referendum. Mr Miliband, who was previously Energy and Climate Change Secretary during Gordon Brown’s premiership, turned down an offer to re-join the frontbench shortly after Mr Corbyn’s victory in the Labour leadership race.

The former Labour leader, according to the Times, is also coaching Mr Corbyn and offering “counsel and advice” on how to handle a hostile media.

At the solar farm Mr Miliband and the Labour leader will cite the 2015 Paris climate change conference and claim that by working with European nations provides the UK with greater influence and amplifies its ability to secure a “robust” agreement.

The challenge of tackling climate change is a moral responsibility, an economic necessity and the single most important thing we can do for our children and our grandchildren and leaving the EU would rob us of the ability to overcome that challenge"

&#13; <p>Ed Miliband, former Leader of the Labour Party</p>&#13;

“The challenge of tackling climate change is a moral responsibility, an economic necessity and the single most important thing we can do for our children and our grandchildren and leaving the EU would rob us of the ability to overcome that challenge,” Mr Miliband said ahead of his appearance at the campaign rally with Mr Corbyn.

He continued: “Membership of the EU has not only raised the UK’s environmental standards, but, especially as I know personally from my time as Climate Change Secretary, enabled Britain to drive progress across all Member States.

“Every major climate change agreement has involved EU leadership. So when it comes to climate change Britain stands taller and is stronger inside the EU. That is why people who care about this generational challenge should vote to Remain on 23rd June.”

The Labour leader said: “At a time when the Government has scrapped funding for green projects it is vital that we remain in the EU so we can keep accessing valuable funding streams to protect our environment”.

“Leaving the EU would mean the green spaces, clean beaches and fresh air we want to leave for our children could be at risk. It would risk investment in new green technologies and the jobs that accompany them, and would leave us open to the Tory agenda which has been so damaging to our environment.

“Pollution and climate change don’t respect national borders so we can’t hope to deal with these issues if we withdraw into our shell. We must vote to remain on the 23rd and continue to work with our European neighbours to stop climate change and protect our environment.”

However, Jacob-Rees Mogg, a Tory MP advocating Brexit, told The Independent the idea that the EU helps the environment is “false”.

He added: “The EU in an effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and subject to heavy lobbying by the German car manufacturers introduced regulations to encourage the use of diesel engines. This has led to a sharp deterioration in air quality in cities with an increase in particulates and nitrous oxide. This has led to early deaths."

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in