A British member of the European Parliament has been filmed at a major climate change summit congratulating the French for bombing the Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior.

Godfrey Bloom's comment has prompted outrage from the environmental group, which has accused him of "celebrating" the death of Dutch photographer Fernando Pereira during the 1985 attack in Auckland.

But Mr Bloom said at the weekend that he had forgotten one man had been killed and French secret service agents had been convicted of manslaughter, the Guardian newspaper reported.

The former Conservative Party Cabinet minister had also earlier said climate change was "a stinking ruse to put cash and power into the hands of political elites".

Mr Bloom was filmed posing in front of the present Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior II, during the climate summit at Copenhagen last year.

In the footage, he said: "Here we have one of the most, most truly fascist boats since 1945. Well done the French for sinking [it]."

But when asked at the weekend whether he regretted his statements given Mr Pereira's death, Mr Bloom first said he did not know a man had been killed, then said he had forgotten.

The video appeared to have been uploaded to Mr Bloom's YouTube channel Goddersvision on December 16 during the last days of the summit, but was later taken down. But the blog Liberal Conspiracy uploaded a copy of the video to YouTube.

Mr Bloom, who sits on the EU's environment committee, accused the green movement of killing "tens of thousands" of people a year.

"I am fed up with eco-fascism. How many old people die of hypothermia each year because our fuel is the most expensive in the world as a direct result of greenies not letting us develop cheap sources of power?"

Greenpeace International head of media Ben Stewart was outraged. "It [the bombing] was an act of terror, pure and simple, and to see a member of the European Parliament lauding it is jaw-dropping."