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Sunday, March 18, 2007
Source: The Guardian
Chancellor Gordon Brown is seeking to regain the initiative on the environment with a call for a "new world order" to combat climate change.
Ahead of the launch of the Government's Climate Change Bill on Tuesday, the Chancellor will herald the Government's role in new European emissions standards and call for the UN to prioritise the fight against global warming.
And he will dismiss Tory leader David Cameron's capacity to lead the continent on the environment because of his, and his party's Euroscepticism.
A Tory Government would have "no credibility, no influence and no achievements" within the EU, he will say. "Let us also be clear: only a government fully committed to the UK's role in Europe can show such leadership. Euro-scepticism and continent-wide environmental action are at odds with each other.
"A government ambivalent about the UK's future in Europe and allied to the most reactionary forces in the European Parliament would have no credibility, no influence and no achievements."
After a weekend in which the Tories launched a bold package of proposals to tax frequent fliers, Mr Brown will criticise "ill-conceived" and "unworkable" measures.
"Changes must be considered, costed, credible and consumer friendly not ill-conceived, short-termist, unworkable and unfair."
But the Chancellor's efforts were undermined when a spokesman for the organisation hosting his speech said the Tory proposals were more radical than the Government's.
Stephen Hale, director of the Green Alliance, said that Conservative proposals on aviation fuel "would take them ahead of where the government are at present, if they see it through".
He told told ITV's The Sunday Programme: "David Cameron is good news. [But] the concern is that every time he makes another photo-call, our expectations rise of what the Conservatives would actually deliver."
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