UK government backs ambitious target to reduce EU carbon emissions by 50% by 2030

The government is lobbying the European Union to set a target to reduce EU emissions by 50% by 2030.

Responding to a European Union consultation on how to progress with reducing the emissions of EU member states energy secretary Ed Davey said such a target was “necessary if we are to limit climate change to manageable proportions”.

He said: “The UK is a global leader in tackling climate change and we need to maintain the momentum towards a binding global climate agreement 2015. That is why we will argue for an EU wide binding emissions reductions target of 50% by 2030 in the context of an ambitious global climate deal and even a unilateral EU 40% target without a global deal.”

He added that the government’s reforms to the electricity market in the UK would incentivise the building of more renewable and low carbon electricity generation plants.

“We will need significant levels of renewable energy and other low carbon technologies to meet such an ambitious 2030 EU emissions target,” he said.

However, he said the EU should not set a target for renewable energy generation because it was “inflexible”.

Rhian Kelly, CBI director for business environment, said setting a 2030 target would help “reassure investors that the government understands their need for certainty and flexibility”.

She added: “For many investors, 2020 is already in the rear view mirror and what they now need is a clear view out to 2030 as part of an ambitious EU-wide agreement.”