Mr Cameron gave the interview to the Guardian newspaper the day Gordon Brown arrived at the Copenhagen talks.

He said he feared environmentalism becoming: “Limited to well-suited politicians stepping out of aeroplanes on to tarmac.”

He added: “People do not like being lectured, you have to take people with you, and the way to do that is to connect individual behaviour and rewards, and help people see the advantages of going green. We have to have carrots as well as sticks.”

Mr Cameron also said the Tories, should they win next year’s election, would work with local authorities and high street businesses like Tesco and Marks & Spencer.

The deal however appears similar to the green mortgages announced by the government earlier this year.

Supermarkets would offer roof and wall insulating and then ‘share’ the savings in electricity bills with householders over a minimum of 15 to 20 years.

While local authorities would be given grants to help residents insulate their homes.

Under the deal Mr Cameron believes a household with the most basic package of measures could expect to see savings of £360 a year on its heating bills, with an energy-efficiency provider putting in an initial investment of £1,500.

Luke Walsh

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