The European Union, which does not even predict it can make its current target of reducing emissions by 20% by 2020 against 1990 levels, was unable to push through new measures today (July 22).

EU environment ministers talked over the European Commission roadmap to 2050 on climate and energy – a document aimed to reduce energy consumption across the continent.

But, the Polish delegation, citing the country’s reliance on fossil fuels, argued against stricter carbon cutting measures meaning the document goes no further.

Current estimates show Europe will only reduce its emissions by about 10% in the next nine years, pushing the majority of the continent towards stricter targets.

However, speaking from the meeting in Luxembourg Mr Huhne called the Polish decision a ‘dark day’ for Europe.

He said: “I’m deeply disappointed that the only country in the EU that could not accept a good compromise on how we can move Europe to a low carbon economy was Poland.

“It’s a dark day for Europe’s leading role in tackling climate change but the UK together with its European colleagues will continue to make the economic case for tighter EU carbon targets so that we can make the most of the future green economy.

“Delay and blockage is a recipe for increased costs and missed opportunities.”

Tomorrow (June 23) the EU is due to vote on increasing its carbon reduction target to 30%, with many British MEP’s pledging to fight the move.

In a letter to Conservative MEPs ahead of the vote charity Christian Aid has expressed ‘deep disappointment’ at their opposition to cuts of more than 20%.

Luke Walsh

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