Davey defends ‘technology neutral’ emissions stance

23 January 2014
By Edd Gent
Mobile version
Share |
Ed Davey says a

Ed Davey says a "technology neutral" stance on climate change action is important

Energy Secretary Ed Davey says the UK's drive against new binding EU renewable energy targets, will make it cheaper to tackle climate change.

Proposals for curbing global warming up to 2030, published by the European Commission yesterday, included plans for an EU-wide binding target to meet 27 per cent of energy consumption from renewables by 2030.

But green groups have criticised lobbying from a number of countries including the UK that prompted the commission to back away from setting binding renewables targets for individual countries, which had been included in a similar EU package of climate measures for 2020.

The UK had argued for a 40 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030, with a potential increase to 50 per cent if a global deal on tackling climate change could be agreed in Paris at the end of 2015, and Davey was unapologetic about the government's opposition to country-specific renewables targets.

"Today's proposals are a step in the right direction towards an ambitious emissions reduction target for Europe,” he said yesterday. "They provide the flexibility to tackle climate change in the most cost-effective way, so that British consumers aren't paying over the odds to go green.

"A 40 per cent greenhouse gas target for Europe is a good start which the UK fought hard for, and will lead to massive investment in low-carbon energy, including many more renewables. Yet Britain has been clear that Europe must be ready to adopt a 50 per cent target if the rest of the world is prepared to sign an ambitious global climate deal in 2015."

He said analysis suggested that the UK could meet its share of the 40 per cent cut on its existing carbon reduction plans, and in response to concerns that there was no renewables target for individual countries for 2030 he said the coalition had legislated for a "decarbonisation" target to be set in 2016, which would slash emissions from the power sector.

This "technology neutral" approach would allow all low-carbon technologies, nuclear, carbon capture and storage technology and renewables, to compete in the 2020s, he said, and help cut emissions without putting up consumer bills disproportionately.

"The coalition government has wanted to make sure we go green but we do it at the lowest possible cost," he added.

Roger Kemp, Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, welcomed the investment certainty the proposals provided.

“While we already have our own UK carbon reduction and renewables targets, for 2020 and 2050, the new EU targets are useful as they put a peg in the ground for what we want to achieve in the interim between the two UK target dates. It should help us – and the other EU nations – to justify investing money in carbon reduction measures and technologies,” he said.

“The lowest cost, but not always the easiest, carbon savings come from avoiding energy use and using energy more efficiently. Perhaps this change will rebalance policy more in this direction.”

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1605

"We visit Barcelona, one of the smartest cities in the world, to find out what makes it so special. What does it look like and what is the future?"

E&T jobs

  • Senior Development Engineer, Electronics

    Premium job

    Helmet Integrated Systems / Gentex Corporation
    • Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire
    • Competitive

    We are an innovative, robust and fast growing business, whose main focus is to deliver continues improvement to existing products and offer new sol..

    • Recruiter: Helmet Integrated Systems / Gentex Corporation

    Apply for this job

  • Smart Grid Research Engineer

    Premium job

    University of Strathclyde
    • Cumbernauld, Glasgow
    • Grade: 6/7* £26,537 - £37,768*

    Work as part of a growing dynamic team on a wide range of technical projects with particular emphasis on experimental validation and testing

    • Recruiter: University of Strathclyde

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Asset Specialist

    Affinity Water
    • Hatfield, Hertfordshire

    Responsible for updating and writing electrical engineering standards, approved codes of practice and safe systems of work

    • Recruiter: Affinity Water

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Electronics Engineer

    York Instruments
    • York, North Yorkshire

    Senior electronics engineer to work as part of a team developing an MEG imaging system; working with the engineering team and external contractors.

    • Recruiter: York Instruments

    Apply for this job

  • Manufacturing Engineer - Circuit Card Assembly

    MBDA
    • Lostock Junction
    • Competitive Salary & Benefits

    What’s the opportunity?   Manufacturing UK is an integral part of the Operations Directorate whose principal mission is to ensure that MBDA’s deliverable commitments are met...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • High Voltage Engineer

    Premium job

    Essex X-Ray & Medical Equipment
    • Great Dunmow, Essex

    This High Voltage Engineer will provide design leadership for high voltage cable assemblies up to one megavolt.

    • Recruiter: Essex X-Ray & Medical Equipment

    Apply for this job

  • Team Leader - Flank Arrays

    BAE Systems
    • Barrow-In-Furness, Cumbria, England
    • Negotiable

    Team Leader - Flank Arrays Would you like to work in a unique role within the construction of the Astute Class submarines? We currently have a vacancy for a Team Leader - Flank Arrays at our site in Barrow-in-Furness. As a Team Leader - Flank Arrays, you

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Electronics and Software Engineer

    Copley Scientific Ltd
    • Nottingham
    • circa £35,000 per annum + bonus

    Develop new test equipment for the pharmaceutical industry. Good opportunities to grow and develop. Successful family-owned and managed business.

    • Recruiter: Copley Scientific Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Intelligent Transport Systems Engineer - Highways Technology

    Premium job

    Mott MacDonald
    • Birmingham, West Midlands

    Our transport technology team in Birmingham is currently growing a highly skilled and customer-focused team to...

    • Recruiter: Mott MacDonald

    Apply for this job

  • Principal Robotic Systems Engineer

    Premium job

    National Oceanographic Centre
    • Southampton, Hampshire
    • £45,271 to £49,207 per annum

    Responsible for technical oversight and project management of internally and externally funded innovation centre projects.

    • Recruiter: National Oceanographic Centre

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T