Events such as the latest tornado in Birmingham and severe flooding in several areas across the country due to recent heavy rains provide a stark wake-up call to the meteorological effects of global warming.

Penny Kemp, Green Party Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokesperson comments: "The shift in weather patterns provides concrete evidence that the effects of global warming are no longer on our doorstep; they have stepped into our homes.

"Rising ocean levels and shifting weather currents pose certain threats to the whole world, but particularly an island nation like the UK. The recent events clearly demonstrate that we are not exempt from global meteorological tragedies such as the Boxing Day tsunami and Hurricane Katrina."

The Government's plans to increase air travel will overtake its plans for emissions reductions by 2050 (1); combined with Tony Blair's recent wavering on the Kyoto Treaty, this fails to paint a promising picture for improvement.

Penny Kemp continues: "Tackling climate change must involve intentional action on the part of policy makers as well as support of individual citizens. Radical initiatives such as domestic tradable quotas (DTQs) as advocated by the Green Party, based on the idea of every citizen and company receiving a certain carbon allowance, promote individual responsibility and would play a major role in reducing overall emissions levels through gradually reducing allowances. These steps towards environmental responsibility are the only solution to a sustainable future.

"We can't see the ice melting in the Arctic or our emissions clouding the atmosphere, so it becomes far too easy to forget that there is a problem, and we are a part of it. Extreme weather has demanded our attention; complacency is no longer an option."