The UK is to press ahead with plans to build coal-fired power stations, rather than waiting for new carbon capture technology to be developed to cut carbon emissions.
The Tories have called for a ban on construction of new stations until the technology is installed.
Ed Miliband, the energy secretary, told the Financial Times in an interview published today: "I will not take a position which ignores our security of supply needs."
He added that the Tories “knee jerk” position was “not thought through”.
The government is set to decide next year on an application from Eon to build a coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth in Kent. Mr Miliband stressed that he could not pre-empt that decision.