EU, UK carbon-reduction targets questioned, but Britain holds steady

Mon, 2007-08-13 10:29Bill Miller
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EU, UK carbon-reduction targets questioned, but Britain holds steady

UK’s Tony Blair signed up to the EU targets three months before he resigned as prime minister in June. They include a 20% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions, compared with 1990 levels, or 30% if other developed nations agree to take similar action.

A spokesman for Blair’s successor, Gordon Brown, said although the EU's aims were “ambitious,” UK was “on course to meet” its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, ratified in 2002. Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said four to five per cent of electricity comes from renewables and the country is on course for that to be three times as much - 15% - by 2015.

Environmental groups said instead of trying to meet commitments, however, they are trying to avoid them by using nuclear power, which they say is not renewable.

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Solar farm

Pressure continues to grow for European politicians to agree to further reductions of greenhouse gas emissions between now and 2030.

The European Union’s 2020 climate and energy package, which is binding legislation, calls for emissions to be cut by 20 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020. In addition, the plan calls for energy efficiency savings of 20 per cent and a 20 per cent increase in renewable energy technologies.

While the European Union seems largely on track to meet those targets, later this month...

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