Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has announced that the UK will oppose European Union plans to introduce a renewable energy target.
Earlier this year, the European Commission in its green paper A 2030 Framework for Climate and Energy Policies proposed the introduction of a binding renewable energy target.
However, Ed Davey has said that while the UK will strongly support renewable energy to 2020 and beyond, the uncertainties at this time are too large to set hard numbers in a binding EU renewables target.
But he did call on the EU to introduce a binding emission reduction target of 50 per cent by 2030 of 1990 emissions levels.
He said: “The UK is a global leader in tackling climate change and we need to maintain the momentum towards a binding global climate agreement in 2015. That is why we will argue for an EU-wide binding emissions reductions target of 50 per cent by 2030 in the context of an ambitious global climate deal and even a unilateral EU 40 per cent 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.
“We will need significant levels of renewable energy and other low carbon technologies to meet such an ambitious 2030 EU emission 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 £7.6 billion 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 and beyond, building the low-carbon economy we need to compete in the green global race.
“But we want to maintain flexibility for Member States in how they meet this ambitious emission target. There are a variety of options to decarbonise any country’s economy. In the UK, our approach is technology neutral and our reforms will rely on the market and competition to determine the low carbon electricity mix. We will therefore oppose a renewable energy target at an EU level as inflexible and unnecessary.”