British households may be given individual carbon audits to encourage them to do more to reduce their own contribution to global warming, Tony Blair said yesterday.

The Prime Minister said that the Government was looking at the idea, which he believes could boost the uptake of carbon-reducing measures in households across the country.

Mr Blair said he had already made an effort to "set an example" by installing low-energy lightbulbs and turning the thermostats down by one degree at 10 Downing Street.

Steps have also been taken to ensure that all his travel since April last year has been carbon-neutral.

He said that individuals could not simply leave the job of tackling climate change to the authorities.

"It isn't just about Government, it's also about individuals," he said. "I mean, if each household had three energy-saving light bulbs you would save enough energy to be the equivalent of all the street lighting in Britain.

"There are very simple things we can do to make a difference in our lives. For everyone who turns down their thermostat by one degree on their heating, you know if we all did that, we could make a huge difference."

Carbon audits could play a vital role in spurring people to make changes in their own lifestyles, by demonstrating to them the degree to which their households are already adding to global warming, he said.

"One of the things we're looking at is how we actually get individuals to know - for example, to get their own carbon audit, which you can do quite simply," he said.

"We're looking at how you make this really widespread for people, so you get a kind of movement going of people knowing how much carbon is emitted from their own household and how they can reduce it.

"I think people do want to do the right thing, but they kind of look at climate change and think: 'This is so enormous and it's global, how the hell can I do anything about it?"'

Mr Blair said that changes in climate due to greenhouse gases were now apparent in every part of the world and governments and individuals had to respond urgently.

Friends of the Earth's head of campaigns Mike Childs said: "Everyone can do their bit to tackle the challenge of climate change, but the Prime Minister knows that personal action alone is not enough.

"What we need is action at a government level which will dramatically reduce carbon emissions for everyone."