EU must show leadership on climate change beyond 2020, says Lovegrove

Strong European leadership beyond 2020 can amplify the impact of the UK's commitment to a low carbon economy, says Permanent Secretary for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Stephen Lovegrove.

Visiting Copenhagen today to discuss Denmark’s and the UK’s experiences with the transition to a low carbon economy, Lovegrove said strong EU action is vital if the two nations are to tackle climate change and deliver on goals of limiting global temperature rise to two degrees.

“Leaders have agreed an EU GHG reduction target of 80-95% for 2050. And just as the UK benefits from challenging intermediate targets through the carbon budget system, we now need an intermediate EU target that is consistent with this ambition and demonstrates the EU’s commitment and leadership,” said Lovegrove.

“It is important for the EU to lay the foundations for a binding global climate agreement in 2015, when our French colleagues will host the UN climate conference. This major event will be on EU soil and the EU has a particular responsibility to show global leadership,” said Lovegrove.

In May, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey challenged Europe to set its emissions reduction target to 50% by 2030 on 1990 levels as part of a global deal to tackle climate change in 2015.

Davey 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.

Leigh Stringer

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