Energy Secretary Ed Davey says the UK’s drive against new binding EU renewable energy targets, will make it cheaper to tackle climate change.
Proposals for curbing global warming up to 2030, published by the European Commission yesterday, included plans for an EU-wide binding target to meet 27 per cent of energy consumption from renewables by 2030.
But green groups have criticised lobbying from a number of countries including the UK that prompted the commission to back away from setting binding renewables targets for individual countries, which had been included in a similar EU package of climate measures for 2020.
The UK had argued for a 40 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030, with a potential increase to 50 per cent if a global deal on tackling climate change could be agreed in Paris at the end of 2015, and Davey was unapologetic about the government’s opposition to country-specific renewables targets.
“Today’s proposals are a step in the right direction towards an ambitious emissions reduction target for Europe,” he said yesterday. “They provide the flexibility to tackle climate change in the most cost-effective way, so that British consumers aren’t paying over the odds to go green.
“A 40 per cent greenhouse gas target for Europe is a good start which the UK fought hard for, and will lead to massive investment in low-carbon energy, including many more renewables. Yet Britain has been clear that Europe must be ready to adopt a 50 per cent target if the rest of the world is prepared to sign an ambitious global climate deal in 2015.”
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