A cross-party group of politicians and campaigners have urged Theresa May to put the UK Government on a “war footing” to tackle climate change.

They have called for a “revolution in political leadership” to coincide with the launch today by the IPPR think-tank of a new Environmental Justice Commission to set out a plan to deliver a rapid transition to a green economy.

The move follows 10 days of disruption brought to central London by climate change campaigners, Extinction Rebellion, members of which will this morning hold talks with Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary. They will urge him to back their demands to declare a climate emergency and commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025.

Tomorrow, Labour will lead a Commons debate also calling on the Government to declare a climate emergency.

Ed Miliband, the former Labour leader, who co-chairs IPPR’s new commission, said: “Climate change is the biggest threat to our economic and social wellbeing and to our national security.

Politics needs to be on a war footing to deal with this enemy but too often it sends the message that business as usual will do.”

He went on: “We need a revolution in political leadership; the problem we face is not just climate denial but climate appeasement. This commission brings together people from all walks of life, generations and political parties to bring about the solutions we need.”

The Doncaster MP added: “It is time to put economic and social justice at the heart of the environmental cause. Our work will show how we should deploy all the resources of government to deliver a Green New Deal for the UK, putting our country to work on tackling this threat.”

Green MP Caroline Lucas, who also co-chairs the commission, warned maintaining the status quo was to gamble with the fate of humanity.

“The environmental crises can only be tackled through a transformation of our whole economy,” declared the Brighton MP.

Former Tory MP Laura Sandys, the third co-chairwoman, claimed that the disruption from campaigners across the country over the last few weeks was “nothing in comparison to the social, economic and national disruption…that we will face if we don’t take transformative action to address the climate emergency now”.

The commission’s launch takes place in the same week as the Committee on Climate Change, the Government’s independent advisor, is due to publish new advice to the UK Government and the devolved administrations on the UK’s long-term climate change targets.

Ahead of its meeting with Mr Gove in Whitehall, Extinction Rebellion made clear the legacy of Britain’s political leaders would stand or fall by what they now did to tackle climate change.

Sam Knights, 22, a member of the group’s political strategy team, which is calling for the creation of a national Citizens' Assembly on climate and ecological justice, said: “Either they take steps to give our children the future they deserve or they do nothing. They must respond to the climate and ecological emergency with the clarity and urgency our children demand.”