Ed Miliband, the shadow climate change secretary, mocked Jacob Rees-Mogg, the new Business Secretary, as “19th century” and accused him of spreading “dangerous climate denial”.
A Labour government would make Britain the first major country in the world to set and achieve the target of zero-carbon power by 2030, Miliband added in his speech at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool yesterday.
Mr Miliband criticised the British Government’s decision to open the door for fracking and ripped into Mr Rees-Mogg for coming up with an “energy policy for the 1820s”.
He told Labour Party delegates in the exhibition centre: “A man who says we should extract ‘every last drop’ of oil and gas, even though it would mean three degrees of global warming.
“A man who says ‘trying to forecast the climate is unrealistic, the cost is probably unaffordable’. Let’s call it what it is: this is dangerous climate denial.
He added: “If you want an energy policy for the 1820s, Jacob Rees-Mogg sure is your man. If you want one for the 2020s, we need a Labour government.”
Miliband said a Labour government would make Britain a “clean energy superpower” and stressed the low cost of solar and wind energy.
He said: “That’s why for bills, for security and for climate, I am proud to announce a Labour government will make Britain the first major country in the world to set and achieve the target of zero-carbon power by 2030.
“The essential foundation of the drive to net zero. Britain a clean energy superpower. Saving £93 billion off bills.
“We will do it by sweeping away Tory dogma that is holding our country back. It is within our grasp. Isn’t it?”
Ed Miliband also criticised the government’s decision to open the door for fracking, telling delegates: “The Tories banned fracking in 2019 because they said it was dangerous.
“Now they’ve moved the goalposts: under the Tories – and I’m not making this up either – moderate earthquakes are just fine.
“Let every Tory MP and candidate be asked: where do you stand on dangerous, expensive fracking? Where do you stand on breaking your manifesto promise?”
He added: “Let them try and sell their charter for earthquakes to the people of Lancashire, Yorkshire, the Midlands, and communities across our country. We will hold them to account on behalf of the people of Britain.”
Mr Miliband was not the only shadow cabinet minister to criticise Mr Rees-Mogg in his conference speech on Monday morning.
Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds took the stage after the Labour former leader to launch the party’s industrial strategy.
He said: “In the face of an energy crisis, a business investment crisis, a climate crisis, who do they pick to meet these challenges?Jacob Rees-Mogg.
“One newspaper said he was better suited to running a museum than the business department. Frankly, museums are far too important for that.”
Martina Bet and Richard Wheeler are reporters with the PA political staff.