In response to the European Commission 2030 White Paper on climate change, Edward Davey, Secretary of State Energy and Climate Change said:
“Today’s proposals are a step in the right direction towards an ambitious emissions reduction target for Europe. They provide the flexibility to tackle climate change in the most cost-effective way, so that British consumers aren’t paying over the odds to go green. This package backs the green growth agenda I’ve been working for with other European colleagues.
“A 40% GHG target for Europe is a good start which the UK fought hard for, and will lead to massive investment in low carbon energy, including many more renewables.
“Yet Britain has been clear that Europe must be ready to adopt a 50% target if the rest of the world is prepared to sign an ambitious global climate deal in 2015.
“It’s good news that the Commission has listened to the UK argument that countries must be allowed to decarbonise in the cheapest way possible. However, the UK remains concerned about any renewables target especially as the debate within Parliament and the British green movement has moved on to technology neutral options like a decarbonisation target as the most cost effective and practical way of fighting climate change.
“The reform package for Europe’s Carbon market is another important and welcome step in the right direction. We had proposed more comprehensive reforms but these proposals have the potential to revive the EU ETS and deliver more emissions reductions at least cost.
“The recognition that shale gas has an important role to play in cutting carbon as we move away from coal is also welcome. The UK pushed hard for proposals on shale gas to be robust but proportionate and I am pleased that the Commission has recognised that existing directives already cover the environmental issues shale gas raises. In the UK, we already have robust regulation in place and we must be careful to avoid delaying this emerging industry by years of debate over regulation that simply duplicates.