Campbell issues green tax challenge

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Sir Menzies Campbell has challenged David Cameron to back immediate environmental tax rises as he launched an attack on the Conservative leader's green credentials. In a riposte to Mr Cameron's high-profile visit to Norway last week to assess the impact of global warming, the Liberal Democrat leader challenged him to match his statements with policy.

Sir Menzies said: "Moving to a low-carbon economy presents both opportunities and challenges. But carbon emissions cannot be reduced in a flurry of snow and a dog-friendly photo opportunity", referring to Mr Cameron's dog-sled trip to a shrinking glacier.

He added: "It is contradictory to put a windmill on your roof while calling for a "concerted programme of road building" as David Cameron has done.

The Liberal Democrat leader called for agreement on the principle of green taxation and demanded support for increases in fuel duty, a hike in the top rate of car tax, reform of the climate change levy and a new tax on aircraft emissions to make an immediate impact on global warming.

He said the measures could be agreed at once, and would not have to wait for the outcome of the Tories' 18-month environmental policy review.