Britain should have a Cabinet rank climate change minister and a powerful new coordinating body to manage its somewhat haphazard and conflicting climate policies, an influential parliamentary committee has concluded.

The Environmental Audit Committee said the government’s climate change rhetoric was not being reflected in its actions, and noted that it was likely to miss its own target of cutting national carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent by 2010.

“The way the government has addressed climate change has led to a confusing framework that doesn’t promote effective action to cut emissions,” said Tim Yeo, chairman of the all-party committee. “A new and authoritative body should be created within government, in the Cabinet Office, to drive forward policy and diminish the potential for conflicting objectives,” he added.

Its a pity Gordon Brown has shown little or no leadership on the issue since taking office.