A London Conservative MEP today launched a withering attack on an EU committee’s attempts to portray climate change as a feminist issue.

London MEP Marina Yannakoudakis described the move by the European Parliament’s Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee as “bonkers, baseless and bad for women”.

She was responding to a report entitled “Women and Climate Change” put forward by the committee and drafted by French Green MEP Nicole Kiil-Nielsen.

The report claims global warming adds to gender discrimination and calls for a 40 per cent female quota on all EU negotiating teams on climate change.

It also demands similar quotas for women on all bodies deciding the financing of schemes to combat climate change.

Extra EU money should be spent on grants for women’s groups to help them get involved in climate politics, the report insists.

Mrs Yannakoudakis, who opposed the report in committee, said: “This is the kind of thing that gets the EU in general – and the Women’s Rights Committee in particular – a bad name.”

“Where on Earth they got the idea that climate change affects women in any way differently from men, I have no idea.”

“It would be comical if the people behind the report were not so earnest and its proposals not so patronising to women.”

She pointed out that at the Durban climate-change conference a deal was reached thanks to two women. It was direct talks between the EU Climate Action Commissioner and India’s Environment Minister that paved the way for an agreement.

The conference was chaired by an equally strong woman: South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Co-operation.

Mrs Yannakoudakis said: “Calling for quotas is an insult to the women who are already making a huge difference in the field of climate diplomacy, politics and negotiation.”

“Global warming is not some male plot to do women down. The climate is the same for males and females, so far as I know. When it rains we all get wet.”

The report will be voted on by the European Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg on Friday.