Britain has been lobbying to reduce EU powers to act on countries’ failure to meet agreed emissions cuts of 40% by 2030
Ed Davey, secretary of state for energy and climate change. The UK wants emissions cuts to be overseen with a ‘light touch’. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Arthur Neslen, Brussels
British lobbying to reduce monitoring of EU countries’ action on climate change has sparked outrage among MEPs and environmentalists.
EU states agreed last October to cut their carbon emissions 40% by 2030, but a UK plan co-authored with the Czech Republic proposes that countries’ emissions cuts should only be overseen with a ‘light touch’ regime with a diminished role for Brussels.
The unpublished paper places equal emphasis on business competitiveness and greenhouse gas reductions. It also calls for nuclear power and experimental carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies to be given the same status as renewable sources, such as wind and solar power, and energy efficiency.
“It is very worrying that the UK government is now discussing how to ensure a light touch on the 2030 targets,” the Labour MEP Seb Dance told the Guardian. “In the past, the UK has led the way towards decarbonisation but that has to be combined with developing renewable and low carbon alternatives.”
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