- London Guardian -
Sceptics in the UK and the US have moved to capitalise on a series of hacked emails from climate change scientists at the University of East Anglia, claiming they show attempts to hide information that does not support the case for human activity causing rising temperatures.
On the eve of the Copenhagen summit, Saudi Arabia and Republican members of the US Congress have used the emails to claim the need for urgent action to cut carbon emissions has been undermined.
But tonight the prime minister, his environment secretary, Ed Miliband, and Ed Markey, the man who co-authored the US climate change bill, joined forces to condemn the sceptics.
"With only days to go before Copenhagen we mustn't be distracted by the behind-the-times, anti-science, flat-earth climate sceptics," Brown told the Guardian. "We know the science. We know what we must do. We must now act and close the 5bn-tonne gap. That will seal the deal."
According to the government adviser Sir Nicholas Stern, 10bn tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions must be taken out of the atmosphere by 2020. So far agreement is in place for only half of that amount.
Ed Miliband gave his most damning assessment of the sceptics yet, describing them as "dangerous and deceitful".
He said: "The approach of the climate saboteurs is to misuse data and mislead people. The sceptics are playing politics with science in a dangerous and deceitful manner. There is no easy way out of tackling climate change despite what they would have us believe. The evidence is clear and the time we have to act is short. To abandon this process now would lead to misery and catastrophe for millions."
Markey warned against allowing America's political agenda to be hijacked by the email affair. "We can no longer allow our climate and energy policy to be hijacked by the government of Saudi Arabia, ExxonMobil, and the defenders of the fossil fuel status quo," he said.