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CAR BAN BY 2040; LIB DEMS 2007 Radical plan to ditch petrol motors in climate change fight.

Byline: By BOB ROBERTS Deputy Political Editor

PETROL cars should be banned from the roads by 2040, the Liberal Democrats said yesterday.

Environment spokesman Chris Huhne said steeper taxes should be slapped on gas-guzzling cars and foreign lorries charged to drive in the UK.

The money raised could be spent on rail investment, possibly creating a highspeed line running north to south.

Mr Huhne unveiled a package of green proposals aimed at making Britain "carbon neutral" by 2050.

He wants every vehicle in the country to be electric or gas-powered by 2040.

And he warned that the need to tackle climate change was desperate.

Mr Huhne said: "Do we want a world where the wind whips the tiles from our roofs, fells trees that have grown for generations? Where it rains four inches in a day? We are tearing up nature by the roots. Throughout the world, animal life is hanging by a thread.

"More than a third of all species are likely to become extinct if we do not stop now. It's not just about saving the panda. It's saving human life."

Among the key proposals for a zero carbon Britain include establishing a fund to help developing countries adopt low-carbon technology.

Domestic flights should pay pounds 10 into a climate change levy and flood defences should be improved. Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell said his party was the only one to stand up and say what has to be done to address climate change.

He added: "We should be working towards a carbon-neutral Britain by 2050. We should be working towards the elimination of petrol-driven motor cars. We should be radical in what we do. The urgency of the problem is enormous."

The conference motion says the scientific evidence for climate change is "overwhelming" and that "if decisive action is not taken in the next decade, any prospect of a stable climate may be lost".

But delegate John Allen criticised the policy, saying: "Climate change has always happened and always will. Stability isn't possible."

And Lib Dem MEP Chris Davies said the party must drop its opposition to nuclear power if it wanted to be truly green.

He said: "We can't rule out the possibility of replacing our existing nuclear facilities."

LIB DOSSIER

Charge lorries to use the roads to fund rail investment, creating a high speed north-south line

pounds 10 climate change levy on domestic flights

Boost spending on flood defences to respond to climate change

WEB DEMS

THE Lib Dems are the first party to draw up a manifesto by canvassing the five million users of network site Facebook.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 18, 2007
Words:434
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