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Green is the colour of Darling's first budget

Published: 12 March 2008
Chancellor announces measures to tackle climate change.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Alastair Darling unveiled a package of measures, which he hopes helps Britain tackle climate change – 'our greatest obligation to future generations'.

In what was billed as Labour's green budget, the Chancellor announced a wide range of environmental taxes and targets, which will place pressure on businesses to cut emissions from buildings and transport – as well as the introduction of legislation to enable ministers to impose charges on plastic bags.

The Chancellor said that the laws for plastic bag charges could come into effect by 2009.

An estimated 13 billion plastic carrier bags are handed out in Britain each year, and Mr Darling said the measures should cut this to 12 billion.

Additional targets include:

  • making all new non-domestic buildings zero-carbon by 2019;

  • the introduction of smart meters to medium and large companies over the next five years;

  • a £26m package for the Green Homes Service to reduce fuel bills and carbon emissions;

  • vehicle duties from 2009 to reward drivers using environmentally-friendly cars.
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