British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey said the British government supports EU efforts to address climate change.
"We must celebrate the success of the 2020 Climate and Energy Package," he said in a statement Tuesday. "By 2011 EU emissions were already down 17.6 percent on 1990 levels."
The EU in 2009 set a goal of getting 20 percent of its energy needs through renewable sources by 2020. In May, the European Parliament passed a non-binding resolution to consider 2030 targets.
"The EU climate deal for 2020 was not sufficiently ambitious," Davey said. "Looking to 2030, the EU should adopt a unilateral EU target for 2030 of a 40 reduction [in emissions] on 1990 levels."
An EU progress report on 2020 targets said the financial crisis in the eurozone was slowing progress on reforms.
Davey said the British government didn't find that binding targets on the use of renewable energy would be cost effective.
Eurostat, the statistical agency for the EU, reported last week overall carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels declined 2.7 percent for the EU as a whole. Only Malta, the United Kingdom, Lithuania and Germany posted increases in emissions last year.