Chris Huhne gets European support to toughen EU climate targets
gas emissions by 2020
a toughening of the EU’s climate targets, to be discussed in Brussels on Monday
. The energy and climate secretary is spearheading a growing movement in favour
of a target of 30% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, instead of the current
and Greece to argue for the higher target at a four-hour meeting of all 27 member
the price of oil is soaring, putting in place an ambitious plan for
its dependence on imported energy. And it will help Europe compete with emerging
economies in the fast-growing markets for green goods and services.”
EU was on track to reduce emissions by 25% by 2020, if current policies were fulfilled.
cutting emissions by at least 80%. As the EU has already cut emissions by 17%
compared with 1990 levels, setting a 30% target would “stimulate the right investment
in low-carbon infrastructure and technology”, according to the environment and
and ensure that Europe made it “to the front of the low-carbon race, rather than
being left behind”.
Günther Oettinger, the energy commissioner, who said
of various potential paths to lower emissions. He said: “The 20% target is still
in place and that is clearly stated in the roadmap.”
this year. The lobbying process for and against the target has intensified in
recent weeks and is likely to be stepped up further in the coming months.
weaker target to be retained, arguing that moving to a higher target without similar commitments from countries
outside Europe would impose unfair burdens on EU businesses.
worried about how they will adapt, but solutions are available. In the best traditions
of European co-operation, we can work together to overcome these challenges.”
arguing that it will stimulate economic growth.
increasing momentum coming from a growing list of major businesses such as Google,
Unilever and Vodafone that want Europe to raise its carbon target to boost our
economic recovery and create jobs. The emphasis on green technology in China’s
five-year plan only undermines the need for Europe to up its game if it is to
kick start clean energy investment and stay competitive.”
change for the UK; Andreas Carlgren, environment minister of Sweden; Norbert Röttgen,
federal minister for the environment, nature conservation and nuclear safety,
Germany; Lykke Friis, Denmark’s minister of climate and energy; Humberto D Rosa,
secretary of state for the environment, of Portugal; Rosa Aguilar Rivero, minister
for environment, rural and marine affairs in the Spanish government; and Tina
Birbili, Greece’s minister of environment, energy and climate change.