EU climate change Ministers set out low carbon vision in Brussels
European Cabinet Ministers responsible for energy and climate change have come together today to set out their vision for a low carbon economy.
Gathering in Brussels for the Green Growth Summit, European ministers have called for three "urgent" EU priority actions.
The actions are to agree an "ambitious" EU 2030 Energy and Climate Policy Framework, reform the structure of the EU's Emissions Trading System and ensure the EU is in a position to put an ambitious emissions reduction offer on the table at the Ban Ki-Moon-hosted World Leader's Climate Summit in autumn 2014.
UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Edward Davey, said: "Thirteen EU countries and dozens of business leaders have come together to deliver a simple message - only by acting together and by showing leadership can we deliver the significant economic benefits that we have today shown is possible in tackling climate change.
"Businesses and investors are telling us that the EU needs to get its act together and that we need to urgently agree a 2030 Climate and Energy Framework and reform the EU ETS. Only then will investors have the confidence to put the billions into low carbon that we need," he added.
Davey said the consequences of inaction are clear, stressing that "the stakes are high, if we do not act, we could all lose out in the low carbon race"
The move by the Green Growth Group has been welcomed by UNFCCC Secretary General Christiana Figueres, Commissioner Hedegaard, EU business leaders, investors and experts.
Figueres said: "Implementing clear policy frameworks that incentivize low-carbon, price carbon and lay the groundwork for emission reduction commitments in 2014 are the greatest contributions governments can make towards the new, universal 2015 climate agreement currently under design.
"Forward thinking businesses clearly have an interest in supporting political action toward low-carbon which will allow them to thrive in the coming green economy. This is the type of leadership we need to give the world our best chance of meeting the climate challenge," added Figueres.
Also welcoming the initiative, EU Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, welcomed the initiative by saying: "Europe is the living proof that there is no contradiction between being green and growing the economy. Actually it is interesting that some of our greenest member states in Europe also are among those with the most solid economies.
"The more European businesses and member states work together to understand that the growth of the 21st century must be green, the better. It is in Europe's core economic interest to become more energy and resource efficient, and less dependent on imported fossil fuels. This is why the Commission is now finalising its proposal for 2030 climate and energy targets," she added.