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British government says EU emission ambitions too lax

Feb. 28, 2014 at 8:11 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- British Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said Friday the European Union could be more ambitious in its plans to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

Davey outlined his agenda for a European meeting next week in Brussels on climate and energy policy for the future.

In January, the European Commission called for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 40 percent from the 1990 benchmark by 2030, an increase from the 20 percent target envisioned for 2020 for members of the European Union.

Davey said in a statement Friday he'd press for an early agreement on the 2030 framework during next week's meeting.

"The U.K. considers the 40 percent greenhouse gas target proposed by the [European] Commission a good start, but will argue that the EU needs to go further -- up to 50 percent," he said.

The Magritte Group, a consortium of chief executives from leading energy companies, said in January the commission's approach "is of utmost importance in shaping the energy transition to a low carbon future."

The British government said Thursday coal accounted for 40.7 percent of the electricity supplied last year, compared with an average 30 percent from 2009 to 2011.

Existing targets for 2020 mandate a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 20 percent share of renewable resources in the European energy mix.

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