The government has announced that it is creating a new taskforce to tackle emissions created during the production, operation and disposal of computers in the UK.

With "green" being the new beige, the taskforce's main responsibility will be the creation of a "green PC" service that will see individual machines use 98% less energy than standard PCs.

Led by Manchester City Council, the idea is that data centres around the country will allow users to access core applications such as office packages, email, and internet surfing rather than from a single machine.

The Green Shift programme will also aim to use 75% fewer resources in the production of PCs.

Local Government Minister Phil Woolas said: "Cyber-warming is a massive issue and that is why we have taken decisive action with the appointment of the taskforce".

"The new taskforce is the first of its kind in the world and is a sign of how serious the UK is about tackling this issue."

However some industry commentators have questioned the motives of the plan, suggesting that its just another step to tracking and monitoring what people do with their computers rather than trying to save the environment.

"With a central computer tracking all the data, it would be a lot easier for the government to see what sites you have been to and what documents you are working on", one industry insider told us.

Manufactures are already trying to tackle the "green issue" earlier this year, PC World announced that it would be selling the first "carbon neutral" PC later this year to be sold throughout its network of stores.

It plans to create the machine out of recycled materials and offset the rest with carbon offset payments.

While Dell has also announced that it plans to launch a global carbon-neutral initiative called "Plant a Tree for Me" that will plant trees for customers to offset the carbon impact of electricity required to power their systems.

In the non PC sector, Sky has created a piece of software that automatically turns off Sky boxes not in use between 11.00pm and 4.00am.