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Liberal Democrats reveal plans for zero carbon Britain

August 30, 2007 10:50 AM

The Liberal Democrats have revealed radical proposals to transform Britain into an international leader in tackling climate change, making the country carbon neutral by 2050.

The measures, which will be debated at the party's conference in Brighton next month, strengthen the Liberal Democrats' position as the only major political party with specific proposals designed to face the challenge of climate change.

Proposals in the paper 'Zero Carbon Britain - Taking a Global Lead' include:

Major improvements to the rail network and the construction of a high speed rail line, paid for by tolling lorries on motorways

A commitment to 100 per cent carbon free, non-nuclear electricity by 2050

The use of green taxes to make the polluter pay, using the revenue to cut income tax

Introducing 'green mortgages' to enable people to make their homes more energy efficient

Liberal Democrat Leader Menzies Campbell said:

"With these policies the Liberal Democrats have become the first major British party to map out the route to a carbon neutral Britain.

"And the first to plan the way towards a cleaner global environment too.

"Pollution doesn't respect national boundaries. Climate change is a global problem that requires an international solution.

"Britain should not be a bit player in finding that solution; we should be leading the pack.

"Under our proposals, the United Kingdom would set the green standard for others to reach."

Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Secretary, Chris Huhne MP said:

"This ambitious objective for zero-carbon Britain would put us in the global lead in tackling climate chaos along with Sweden, Norway and New Zealand.

"Just as crucially, we have set out plans that are the first attempt of any British political party to tackle carbon emissions from every part of the economy: transport, energy, housing, offices and factories. The time for talk has passed; we need action.

"The Labour Government is going backwards with Gordon Brown's demotion of the Cabinet committee on the environment, cuts in green taxes and rising carbon emissions.

"The Tories have so far only proposed airport expansion and road building that would make the problem worse.

"These plans are the first and only realistic route march for change."