The UK's green economy and those concerned about our future received a significant boost today, after the European Commission agreed a new package of climate and energy policies designed to reduce emissions 40 per cent by 2030.
The negotiations went down to the wire this morning, after a handful of commissioners pushed for more modest targets. However European Commission president José Manuel Barroso pushed through a series of targets that are at the top end of those discussed.
This morning the commission confirmed that under the proposed framework, EU member states will be required to cut emissions 40 per cent against 1990 levels by 2030, while also facing a binding target to source at least 27 per cent of their energy from renewable sources by the same date.
In addition, a non-binding target will aim to encourage countries to improve their energy efficiency by 25 per cent through the 2020s.
President Barroso said it would help to drive clean tech investment across the EU. "Climate action is central for the future of our planet, while a truly European energy policy is key for our competitiveness,"
"Today's package proves that tackling the two issues simultaneously is not contradictory, but mutually reinforcing. It is in the EU's interest to build a job-rich economy that is less dependent on imported energy through increased efficiency and greater reliance on domestically produced clean energy."
"An ambitious 40 per cent greenhouse reduction target for 2030 is the most cost-effective milestone in our path towards a low-carbon economy," he said.
"The 27 per cent renewables target is an important signal: to give stability to investors, boost green jobs and support our security of supply."