EU urged to increase co2 emissions target

The Government has called on Europe to show leadership over climate change by stepping up its target for cutting CO2 emissions.

The Government has called on Europe to show leadership over climate change by stepping up its target for cutting CO2 emissions.

The EU is already committed to reducing CO2 emission by 20 per cent by 2020 compared with 1990 levels, and has pledged to increase that to 30 per cent if America and other large polluting countries do the same.

A Commission feasibility study now says that costs of meeting the targets have fallen thanks to the economic downturn and industrial cutbacks which have already delivered enforced CO2 cuts.

However, EU Environment Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said, the political decision to move to the 30 per cent target is one for EU leaders, "when the timing and conditions are right".

She suggests now is not the time - but UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne said Europe should push on and raise its sights.

Virtually reciting the wording of the recent coalition agreement, he commented: "Global climate change is the biggest challenge the world faces and securing an ambitious deal is a priority for this Government.

"That's why we will push for the EU to demonstrate leadership by supporting an increase in the EU emissions reduction target to 30 per cent by 2020."

But Neil Bentley, CBI director for business environment, backed the Commission's view that the time was not right: "In the absence of a globally-binding climate deal, talk of unilaterally raising the EU 2020 target is premature. We believe a unilateral move by the EU could disadvantage manufacturers by subjecting them to higher costs than their international competitors.

"Before any decisions are made, more work needs to be done on the potential impact that raising the target would have on different sectors and on UK energy security."

 

 

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