Ed Davey calls on EU to cut emissions by 50% by 2030
Ed Davey has called on Europe to halve its emissions by 2030 to push a global deal to tackle climate change.
The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change wants the EU to set an emissions reduction target of 50% on 1990 levels by 2030 as part of an international deal.
He also said that if a global deal could not be agreed the EU should aim for a 40% emissions reduction target.
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.
"This 2030 target is ambitious, but it is achievable and necessary if we are to limit climate change to manageable proportions," he added.
He also highlighted the significant role of renewable energy and how low carbon technologies will be essential in meeting such an ambitious 2030 EU emissions target.
"The UK is committed to increasing renewables in our own domestic energy mix. The tripling of support available to low carbon electricity through the £7.6bn Levy Control Framework provides an immediate boost. And the radical reforms to the Electricity Market set out in the Energy Bill will incentivise renewables to 2020 beyond, building the low-carbon economy we need to compete in the green global race.
"Looking to 2030, the EU should adopt a unilateral EU target for 2030 of a 40% reduction on 1990 levels. In the context of an ambitious global climate agreement for the period beyond 2020, the EU's target should increase to up to a 50% reduction on 1990 levels.
Commenting on Davey's announcement CEO of WWF-UK, David Nussbaum, said: "This announcement by Government is welcome in that it helps bring much needed clarity to European negotiations on a future climate and energy package. It will also help provide vital momentum to international efforts to agree a global deal on climate change in 2015.
"However, the EU and its key member states should be clear that any serious attempt by the EU to play its part in preventing dangerous levels of climate change requires at least a 50% cut in its emissions by 2030."
However, Davey said that the UK Government will oppose a renewable energy target at an EU level because it is "inflexible and unnecessary."
Nussbaum said: "Despite the UK's position, the EU should not dismiss the cost reduction and economic growth benefits that a renewables target for 2030 could bring to the EU.
"By providing greater certainty to investors in the EU's renewables sector, a future renewables target could help reduce the costs of financing renewable energy projects in the EU and consolidate its position as an industrial leader in several new renewable energy technologies."