A city is set to become the first climate-friendly community in Britain.

Climate change campaigner Daren Howarth told a landmark conference on green issues that carbon use in Brighton and Hove could be cut to a level where it could be replaced, making the city "climate balanced".

Balancing would come when use of fossil fuels, which create the gases blamed for global warming, is cut to levels where measures such as tree planting would then compensate.

Mr Howarth, of Brighton-based climate change consultants C-Level, said: "We would like to promote a climate campaign for the city, pehaps it would be called C-City.

"It would set us miles apart from any other town or city. It is so simple."

He said the Body Shop was already eager to join a climate-balancing campaign and targets for cutting fossil fuel use could be set low or as high as 90 or 95 per cent.

He was speaking at Hove Town Hall as Brighton and Hove City Council launched a sustainability strategy aimed at reinvigorating the council's environmental policies.

The drive will be backed by a new and innovative sustainability commission, a cross-party body that will help shape all the council's activities.

Councillor Joyce Edmond-Smith, who heads the commission, said: "The environment can no longer be a nice little ghetto called green issues while the rest of life goes on the same.

"It is the rest of life which determines our impact on the Earth and the environment.

"We need to make sure everything we do - leisure, housing, economics - takes into account the effect we have on the Earth."

Earlier initiatives, in Brighton and Hove and further afield, often failed to have a real impact because their targets were unachievable or they failed to influence other policies.

Council leader Ken Bodfish said economic wellbeing had to be the priority but prosperity could be made sustainable if the new body developed environmental policies which were realistic and won public support, something that had not been done in the past.

He said: "I think we are breaking new ground.

"The sustainability commission is unique among local authorities. I think we have got a first here."