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Huhne makes European push on climate change

UK, France and Germany push for 30% emissions cut A new push to persuade Europe to cut its emissions by 30% by 2020 was kicked off today in…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


UK, France and Germany push for 30% emissions cut

A new push to persuade Europe to cut its emissions by 30% by 2020 was kicked off today in a joint initiative by the UK, Germany and France.

In an article published simultaneously in the three countries, the countries’ climate change ministers The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP, Jean-Louis Borloo and Dr Norbert Rottgen set out the economic benefits for increasing Europe’s climate change targets.

The current European target is for the EU to cut emissions by 20% from 1990 levels by 2020.

This is the second joint initiative between the governments of France, Germany and UK since the election. On Budget day, the three governments issued a joint statement on bank levies.

Commenting on today’s initiative to increase the target to 30%, UK Energy and Climate Secretary The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP said:

This shows how seriously Britain, France and Germany take the low carbon agenda and how we want to work together to make it happen.

We’re determined to make the economic case for the EU to cut its emissions by 30% by 2020 as quickly as possible. Moving to a low carbon economy can help deliver energy security and contribute to economic recovery.

The current 20% target is not sufficient to encourage companies to make the necessary investment in green technologies and green jobs. The ‘wait and see’ policy of sticking to 20% risks putting Europe in the global slow lane of maximising low carbon economic opportunities.

Today’s initiative on a 30% cut in EU emissions is part of the UK government’s wider moves to encourage low carbon investment. The Budget announced plans to consult on reforms to the Climate Change Levy to provide more certainty and support to the carbon price in the UK, and further reforms of the energy market to promote low-carbon energy generation will follow in the Energy Bill.

The government has also said that it will put forward detailed proposals on the creation of a Green Investment Bank to help the UK meet the low carbon investment challenge.

Notes for editors

  1. The article was published in the Financial Times, Le Monde and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Thursday 15 July.
  2. The article is also available at:
Published 15 July 2010