The Tory leader, set to make his first major speech on the environment later today, will say that carbon-cutting mechanism is ineffective and should be replaced.

Tory leader David Cameron would scrap the climate change levy if he got into power, he will say in a speech later today.

In what is billed as his first major speech on the environment, Cameron will say he would scrap the levy and replace it with a better way of tackling climate emissions.

The climate change levy is the government's main mechanism for reducing CO2 emissions, and is based on giving tax discounts to businesses that sign climate change agreements. But Cameron claims the scheme is not effective, and has asked his environment policy group to look at alternatives.

Cameron will say the group will look at "whether the carbon levy should operate as a business tax or as a market mechanism in which low carbon energy production and business use is encouraged through tradable credits."

According to the BBC, Cameron will add: "Under a Conservative government, the climate change levy will be replaced by a more effective method of reducing carbon emissions, as part of an overall framework of carbon pricing right across the economy," he will add.