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LIB DEM PLAN FOR CARBON NEUTRAL BRITAIN IS A BENCHMARK

September 17, 2007 5:00 PM

The LibDems' ambitious plan for Britain to become completely carbon neutral by 2050 is the only responsible way to deal with climate change, local Euro MP Liz Lynne said at the Brighton party conference today.

She welcomed a vote by delegates to back a costed policy package which makes the Liberal Democrats the greenest mainstream political party and would turn Britain into a world leader in the technology to tackle global warming.

Liz Lynne said: "This green policy plan is a benchmark, it makes me proud to be a Liberal Democrat. The terrible flooding we saw this summer in the West Midlands just highlights that we politicians cannot pussy foot around the climate issue any longer.

"I honestly hope the other two parties catch up and become green too, but I am not sure the message has hit home yet. Gordon Brown is cutting green taxation and last year reduced flood relief budgets. David Cameron is good at sound bites, but he is pro nuclear and has backed plans to expand airports and build new motorways. The substance is what counts."

Liz said she was delighted that the LibDem policy's author Chris Huhne, a former Euro MP, is highlighting the positive green role the EU can play after the Kyoto Protocol runs out in 2012.

"Chris Huhne is absolutely right that without the EU ensuring all member states do their bit to tackle climate change, we can do what we like but get nowhere. It was the EU that stood up to George Bush on the issue, we need it to take the lead once again."

"When I was first elected back in 1999 as a Euro MP, there was a Eurostar train in the timetable from Birmingham to Brussels, but of course it never ran. Eight years on, I am still forced to use aircraft, or an awkward slow journey across London.

"A carbon neutral Britain will be a green and pleasant land, we must get out there and sell that message from the rooftops."

ENDS

Note: The LibDem's policy paper voted through today includes commitments to:

• Huge investment in new and improved railways, paid for by introducing motorway tolls for lorries

• Carbon neutral, non-nuclear power generation by 2050

• Increased use of green taxes to help cut pollution, using the money to cut income tax

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

• Massive investment in flood prevention and protection, with strategies to cope with the kind of extreme

rainfall seen in Pershore in Worcestershire this summer, where six inches fell in a single day.