Brighton Kemptown MP Des Turner today urged ministers to lead by example on climate change as they prepare for the UN summit in Copenhagen next month.
Dr Turner, who is standing down at the next election, said the fight against global warming was as dangerous as a world war.
He told fellow MPs in a House of Commons debate: “The one agreement at which we must not arrive at Copenhagen is one no more valuable than the piece of paper with which Mr Chamberlain returned from Munich.
“In climate change, we are faced with something just as threatening as world war.
“It might take longer than a world war, but the effects and resulting casualties will be just as calamitous.
“We have to go for it at Copenhagen, and if we do not get everything that we want there, we must be prepared to start leading action on our own.”
The Labour veteran said that he was concerned that America could block progress despite the election of Barack Obama because of its domestic economic difficulties.
He said that he hoped for a legally binding agreement but was not optimistic, adding: “We must be careful about investing too much emotional capital in Copenhagen.”
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