Politics news: Lobby briefing - David Miliband, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Why have you launched a website aimed at the voluntary sector?

The battle against climate change is a national and international issue, but it is also a local issue. We need to mobilise people to win that battle.

The voluntary sector has a unique role in terms of reaching people in their communities. It also has a unique perspective from its roots in campaigning and advocacy and a unique set of networks. It would be foolish to ignore that power.

Do you want the voluntary sector to lead by example?

I think the Government has to lead by example, and it has to ensure that the big hitters in business are contributing. But I think the voluntary sector can help take this down to the human scale.

Do charities need to improve their record on the environment?

I don't think it's right for me to make sweeping generalisations because the truth is that I don't know. I haven't measured the footprint of the third sector compared with the public or private sectors, but the mood from the charities I have spoken to is that there is more they can do.

How can charities justify buying more expensive energy-saving equipment?

By investing in renewable energy, charities could actually save themselves some money.

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