Policy

Supporting international action on climate change

Supporting detail:

Encouraging the EU to demonstrate leadership on climate change

The government has committed to push for the EU to demonstrate international leadership on climate change issues. This includes supporting an increase in the EU emission reduction target to 30% by 2020.

Working together

Action at EU level is critical to achieving our climate change objectives.

The EU is our best route to global influence. If we’re going to have credibility in negotiations with China, the US and India, we need to engage as a group - not just as individual member states.

Without the EU’s actions, and especially its alliance with the most vulnerable countries (small island states, African countries and the least developed countries), it’s unlikely the world would have agreed to negotiate a new global change agreement.

Leading by example

The UK is actively engaged in the development and implementation of EU climate policies.

What the EU is doing about climate change

Our commitment to encouraging further EU action and leadership on climate change is reflected in the speech by Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change Edward Davey to Chatham House on 11 July 2012.

Increasing the EU reduction target to 30%

Recent analysis by the UN shows that current international pledges for reducing emissions by 20% by 2020 would get us less than half the way to keeping climate change to within 2°C of pre-industrial levels.

Between them, EU member states are responsible for around 10% of emissions (in 2010). This is not as high as the US (13%) and China (22%) but it is still a significant proportion.

Following the UN climate conference in Doha in November 2012 the EU has taken on an emissions reduction commitment for the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. This is in line with its existing target of cutting emissions by 20% by 2020. It is possible this will be increased to 30% because the targets of all countries participating in the second period will be revisited by 2014 with a view to considering raising ambition.

We fully support an increase to 30%.

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