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Last Updated: Monday, 7 August 2006, 10:20 GMT 11:20 UK
Blair urges home pollution checks
Lights in a city at night
Domestic energy use accounts for 27% of the UK's CO2 emissions
Tony Blair is urging people to measure how much global warming pollution is produced by their homes.

He told BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat that individuals as well as governments must do their bit to tackle climate change.

Ministers were looking at making "carbon audits" of homes more widely available, he said. No 10 was now using energy efficient light bulbs.

His call comes as an MPs' report said tax on air travel and "gas guzzling" cars should rise.

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee said other measures would be almost useless unless pollution from transport was tackled.

'Simple contributions'

Domestic energy use accounts for 27% of the UK's CO2 emissions.

Environment Secretary David Miliband last month said he could see merit in people being able to buy and sell their quotas as an incentive to cut pollution at home.

Under the scheme, people would be given carbon points to spend on electricity, gas, petrol and air travel.

In his Radio 1 interview, Mr Blair urged people to take individual responsibility for helping the environment.

"If each household had three energy-saving light bulbs you would save enough energy, the equivalent of all the street lighting in Britain," he said.

The interesting thing is we could do something about it. The question is, have we got the will?
Prime Minister
Tony Blair

"There are very simple things we can do to make a difference in our lives."

Mr Blair is pushing the idea of "carbon audits" - checks on how much CO2 people's homes pump out through using energy.

"One of the things we're looking at is how we actually get individuals to know to get their own carbon audit, which you can do quite simply," he said.

"We're looking at how you make this really widespread for people, so you get a kind of movement going of people knowing how much carbon is emitted from their own household and how they can reduce it.

"People do want to do the right thing, but they kind of look at climate change and think 'this is so enormous and it's global, how the hell can I do anything about it?'"

'Urgent' problem

The Energy Saving Trust, a government funded agency, already offers free home energy checks.

People answer questions either online or by speaking to an advice centre about their energy use.

The amount of C02 their homes produce is calculated and advice given on how to reduce pollution and save money.

Mr Blair said people could take action against global warming themselves.

"People actually sense the climate change," he said. "It doesn't matter which part of the world you're in, their climate in the past few years has been changing and is different and you know this is urgent.

"And the interesting thing is we could do something about it. The question is have we got the will to do it?

"Now I'm trying to say for governments we've got to do this, also let's try and enable the individual to make their contribution too."


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