04 September 2007 | Paul Snell
The Liberal Democrats want to use procurement to make Britain "carbon neutral" by 2050.
The proposals have been announced in the paper Zero Carbon Britain - Taking a Global Lead, and will be debated at the party's conference later this month.
The ideas include the promotion of energy efficiency through preferential procurement by the government, beefing up public sector standards for "sustainable" buildings and encouraging other countries to follow a UK model for purchasing sustainable timber.
The party also wants local government to adopt current government standards on purchasing sustainable timber. Companies may have to include information on the timber they buy and use in their annual reports, making sure it is legal and sustainable.
The paper also highlights wider targets, including commitments to provide 100 per cent carbon-free, non-nuclear electricity for the whole of the UK by 2050. It also suggests improvements to rail infrastructure, paid for by charging lorries to use motorways.
Chris Huhne, Lib Dem shadow environment secretary, said: "This ambitious objective for zero-carbon Britain would put us in the global lead in tackling climate chaos along with Sweden, Norway and New Zealand."