We don't want to just build back the old economy of the past because it was unsustainable, it was unequal, it was insecure, it was unproductive.
Ed Miliband has called for a green recovery to build a better economy, saying it "is the least we owe" people who have suffered throughout the coronavirus crisis.
There have been growing calls from campaigners, businesses, experts and politicians for measures to rebuild the economy in ways that supports the shift away from fossil fuels and protects nature.
In a webinar organised by think tank IPPR, Labour's shadow business secretary called for green action to boost jobs and an economy reeling from the impacts of the pandemic lockdown.
Mr Miliband urged the Government to be bold with its plans in the face of an unemployment emergency.
He said measures needed to be wide ranging, tackling both the climate and nature crisis, and covering everything from tree planting to insulating homes to building zero emission engines.
"When you look at getting money out of the door and actually taking action in a recovery emerging from a recession, we know green is the way to go," he said.
"We don't want to just build back the old economy of the past because it was unsustainable, it was unequal, it was insecure, it was unproductive.
"And people have suffered so much in this crisis the least we owe them is to build something better, to build a new economy in its place," he said.
He also said the UK had a "particular obligation" as hosts of the delayed key United Nations climate talks, Cop26, which are now being held in Glasgow in November 2021, to deliver a green recovery as an exemplar to others.
And he warned: "Inaction costs more than action, not acting on the climate crisis is going to store up much greater costs down the road, and not acting on the economic crisis will store up much greater costs down the road."
Mr Miliband said Labour would be suggesting ideas for a green recovery to the Government and said: "It's so much in all our interests to make this green transition and make this recovery green and if the Government does the right thing, we will say that we agree and we'll support them."
Conservative MP Alexander Stafford said the UK could be world leaders in new technologies such as hydrogen which can power heavy goods vehicles and bigger offshore wind turbines.
He said: "It is vital we work, business, government, third sector, all work together to try and push UK PLC towards this green future.
"I believe that the green economy could be as significant as the Industrial Revolution when it comes to not only the impacts on the globe's climate - and let's be honest the Industrial Revolution had an awful effect on our globe's climate - but also to the UK economy."
He said there was a positive message for people that clean technology and a green future would make their lives, their families' lives and their jobs better.
Emily Beament is the PA environment correspondent.
Image: EdMiliband, via Flickr.