Ambitious carbon reduction targets needed in EU as well as UK – Jo

In the House of Commons this week, Jo praised the Government for accepting the Committee on Climate Change’s ambitious recommendations for emissions reductions to 2027. She also asked the Energy and Climate Change Secretary to press the EU to raise their greenhouse gas reduction target from 20 to 30 per cent by 2020.

Commenting, Jo said:

“I am pleased that Britain has committed to an ambitious legally binding limit of carbon emissions, underlining the Coalition’s commitment to being the greenest government ever.

“This momentum will help us to reach agreement in Europe about the need for equally ambitious changes to a 30 per cent emissions reduction, and I welcome the Secretary of State’s efforts to make progress on this matter.”


  1. On Tuesday, Chris Huhne announced the level of the Government’s fourth carbon budget, as required under the Climate Change Act.
  • In agreeing with the Climate Change Committee’s advice of a 50% cut in emissions the Government is putting the UK at the forefront of a new global industrial transformation.
  • The UK will continue to press the EU to tighten emission reductions in 2020 to 30%, and will alter the UK budgets to reflect EU changes accordingly.
  1. The full text of Jo’s question and the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change’s answer is as follows:

Jo Swinson (East Dunbartonshire) (LD): I congratulate the Secretary of State on accepting the ambitious fourth carbon budget recommended by the Committee on Climate Change. His statement highlights how vital it is to increase the EU carbon emission reduction target from 20% to 30% by 2020, so how will the Government redouble their efforts to secure that agreement and, in particular, to get a significant tightening of the EU emissions trading scheme cap?

Chris Huhne: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that question. We have made substantial strides in the direction of securing an agreement and a number of countries in the EU are clearly signed up to the 30% ambition level for 2020. A number of other countries would like to go beyond 20%. The European Commission is the key player and one of the points that it is making-rightly I think-is that if we as a European Union were to deliver on just the energy efficiency commitments that we have already made, we could get to a 25% cut in carbon emissions by 2020 without any additional cost. There is a lot of progress to be made on this agenda and I and my ministerial colleagues are pressing that point at all the meetings we attend in Brussels and elsewhere. I believe that we are making good progress.

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