Barker calls for tighter European emissions target
Carbon reduction news - by GreenWise staff
10th April 2012
Greg Barker has called for a more ambitious EU carbon reduction target ahead of a meeting with European counterparts next week.
Speaking on the BBC’s Today
programme, the Energy and Climate Change Minister said there was "scope" for a tighter carbon emissions
target and that it would be "good for business". He said increasing the UK’s 2020 target from 20 per cent reduction in emissions on 1990 levels to 30 per cent could be achieved "comfortably", but he said the Government wouldn’t do it without Europe following suit.
Barker said a tighter emissions target would push up the price of carbon, which has hit record lows on the back of the Eurozone crisis. This, he said, would boost investment
in low carbon industries as well as ensure a cleaner economy.
"We are going to comfortably exceed our 2020 emissions target as things stand, which is 20 per cent. We think we are in a good position to raise that level of ambition to 30 per cent," he said.
"There is plenty of scope for us to increase that level of ambition and push up the carbon price and still do it in a way that is good for business and gives long-term certainty but doesn't actually harm our competitiveness.
"We would be saying we have got to do more and that would have a positive impact on the price of carbon and reduce the amount of credit in circulation."
But Barker reiterated the position
voiced by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne last autumn, when he said that the UK should not cut emissions faster than its European nations.
"We want to do that in conjunction with the rest of Europe," he said.
"We're working patiently and quietly behind the scenes, making not just the environmental case, but the economic case as well, looking at the huge opportunity in low carbon and clean tech markets."
Barker is meeting with other EU ministers on April 19 in Denmark.
Like this story? Please subscribe to our free weekly e-newsletter at the top of the page for more content like this.