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Last Updated: Monday, 10 March 2008, 20:42 GMT
Clegg pledges climate 'charter'
Nick Clegg
Mr Clegg said there would be no 'backsliding' on green policies
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg plans to draw up a "charter for climate change" laying out the responsibilities of government, businesses and individuals.

He told the Green Alliance debate that to inspire people to act they had to be shown "we are all in this together".

He also reaffirmed the party's commitment to an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

Last year the Green Alliance awarded the Lib Dems the highest marks of the main parties for "green leadership".

But the report said all three were failing to provide "consistent leadership" and while praising the Liberal Democrats for their work on climate change, said they appeared "uninterested" in protecting the natural environment.

Environmental revolution

In his speech Mr Clegg said he wanted to inspire "an irresistible wave of pressure for change".

He said without a clear statement of responsibilities, it was easy for people to think what they did, was not making a difference.

A charter would help them believe if they made changes to their lifestyles, or businesses to their "carbon footprints", others would do the same.

Let's apportion responsibility. And let's make clear what we expect from one another
Nick Clegg

"If we want to communicate to people the urgency of the task we face and inspire them to act then we need to demonstrate that we are all in this together," he said.

"That government, business and individuals can trust one another to play their part in the war against climate change, that Britain can respond with a social environmental revolution.

"So let's do just that. Let's apportion responsibility. And let's make clear what we expect from one another."

Green taxes

He said the charter would be a "covenant between government, industry and individuals" and was intended to "mainstream environmental action in our society".

He also said there would be no "backsliding" on the Lib Dems' green commitments and said he supported industrialised countries paying out grants "in proportion to their record as polluters" to help countries adapt to climate change. Oxfam estimates the UK should pay 1.25bn a year.

Green taxes and measures to help people who struggle to meet energy bills are expected to be in the Budget on Wednesday. Newspaper reports suggest he might introduce a levy on new larger cars like people carriers that could increase their price by 2,000.

Meanwhile the Conservatives are looking at whether "green ISAs" could offer tax breaks to people who invest in eco-friendly companies in an effort to encourage "can do environmentalism".

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