Conservative party leader David Cameron has promised to introduce technology designed to reduce carbon emissions at coal-fired power stations.
Mr Cameron was speaking at Chongqing University in China about the need to adopt more environmentally-friendly methods of energy production in order to curb the threat of climate change.
He told the audience about the benefits of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology, which captures emissions and enables it to be stored elsewhere where pollution caused by burning coal will not harm the environment.
The opposition politician said the development of "green coal" would be a key part of his party's environment policy.
During his speech he claimed that the government was not making efforts to introduce the technology which meant that the UK would fall behind in the fight against global warming.
Mr Cameron said: "We cannot afford this kind of delay. So I can announce that developing green coal will be a priority for a Conservative government."
He added: "Our government should ensure that no new coal-fired power station should proceed without using it as a basis for trials for CCS technology."
Previously, a policy group set up by the Conservative leader recommended council tax rebates for energy-efficient homes. The Quality of Life group called for limits to be set on the amount of energy used by home appliances.