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Green action set for conference debate

August 31, 2007 5:00 PM

The Liberal Democrats will be debating 'Zero Carbon Britain - Taking a Global Lead' on 17th September at the party's conference at Brighton. The main proposals include:

1. Make Britain carbon neutral. The Liberal Democrats are the first party to aim for a carbon neutral Britain where we absorb as much carbon as we emit by 2050. The Government is aiming for a 60 per cent cut, and the Tories for an 80 per cent cut.

2. Build a high speed rail line and back rail improvements. The Liberal Democrats are the only credible party on rail investment because we identify a way of paying for it - tolling lorries on motorways.

3. Set up a leapfrog fund to back clean energy in developing countries. There will be no solution to climate change if the developing world has to choose between prosperity and the planet. We must back cheap renewables to power their growth.

4. Boost flood defences and other changes to respond to climate change. New threats need to be met with new responses in a UK national adaptation plan.

5. Commit to 100 per cent carbon free, non-nuclear electricity by 2050. Provide new incentives for renewables and micro-generation through appropriate guaranteed prices.

6. Introduce 'green mortgages' to fund the upgrading of our housing stock. On present progress, the Government would take 125 years to meet modern energy efficiency standards. The Tories have no plans.

7. Tax pollution not people. The Liberal Democrats want to reverse the decline in green taxation under Labour, and use the revenue to cut income tax. The Tories have not come up with specific plans.

8. Toughen up the EU emissions trading scheme by auctioning permits. The Conservatives cannot admit the EU is key to tackling climate change, while Labour is in the back pocket of the CBI.

9. Back a global treaty with fair carbon shares for all. The only just basis for carbon-sharing is where each person is entitled ultimately to emit the same total: contraction and convergence.

10. The Liberal Democrats are the first party to set out a comprehensive plan to curb carbon emissions. Labour's policies are full of contradictions whereas the Tories do not have firm plans. We will reform Whitehall to ensure all departments take climate change seriously.