The Green Party leaders do not support obstructive tactics used by Insulate Britain but said it had helped get important climate issues onto the agenda.
Co-leaders Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay distanced themselves from the campaigners blocking motorways in an interview with i but stressed their support for freedom to protest.
The group, which has come in for intense criticism for causing severe disruption as part of its campaign for all homes to be insulated, is due to restart protests next week after an 11-day pause.
Asked whether the Green leadership backed this type of activism, Mr Ramsay distanced himself from the group by saying the party “does not speak for them” and added “we don’t always agree with that that tactics.”
Pressed on whether that means the party takes issue with protesters sitting across major motorways, he said: “I think what they were seeking to do was to drive the issue up the agenda and that was ultimately successful.
“But we see our role as a different one as a political party in terms of how we push forward on the policies that are needed to actually address this.”
Referencing Insulate Britain’s decision to pause protests, he said: “They clearly have kept their tactics under review. It’s important to note that some direct actions is perhaps more targeted than others in the message that it gets across.”
Ms Denyer said it was crucial for protest groups to “have the right” to take direct action, despite not agreeing herself with all of the tactics used.
“It’s not our job to tell them what to do, they’re a separate organisation,” she said.
“There is a role for protests and nonviolent direct action in a healthy democracy. I’m not sure necessarily agree with every element of their strategy that they’ve taken over the last few weeks, but it is important that campaigners have the right to protest.”
The leaders opened the Green Party conference in Birmingham by calling on the government to help people pay rising energy bills amid concerns over the cost of living.
They proposed the move, which they estimated to cost £9 billion, would be funded by a one-off one per cent land-value tax on residential landlord properties.
The co-leaders said the policy would keep “keeping households from falling into fuel poverty” and was about “keeping people safe [and] human dignity”.
Mr Ramsay said people are “frightened” of what is to come over winter and already “struggling” to meet the rising cost of living.
He added: “Our proposal is what government should be doing to show leadership. It’s an issue which shows how climate justice and social justice go hand in hand – something they just don’t get.”
Mr Ramsay said the emergency funding for households was not a long-term solution and called for better insulation of homes.Internet Explorer Channel Network