The European Union has agreed a deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030.
Energy secretary Ed Davey said: “This is a historic moment. Europe has sent a clear and firm message to the world that ambitious climate action is needed now. True to our word, we have delivered a highly ambitious EU climate target while also significantly strengthening Europe’s energy security by making us less reliant on imported energy. This morning only five countries in Europe had climate targets post 2020, now 28 countries do.
“The UK has been leading the climate debate pushing for an ambitious deal in Europe and by building alliances and working constructively with our European partners, we’ve agreed a package of measures that meet all the UK’s top priorities.
“It lays down the gauntlet to the world to come forward with ambitious climate targets, reforms EU energy policy so it’s flexible and affordable and tackles energy security – reducing Europe’s energy import bill for fossil fuels by around €285 billion by 2030.”
The agreement has drawn mixed reactions from the industry which has applauded politicians for their attempts to tackle climate change, but has criticised the lack of legally binding renewable energy targets.
The European Council has instead opted for a 27 percent non-binding pan-European target.
Tony Juniper, chair of Action for Renewables, said: “Now we have the EU 2030 framework in place it’s time to work on delivery. Renewables are the only generation technologies that meet all of the goals we must pursue in parallel.
“The UK is doing good work on pushing forward much-needed reforms to the EU ETS But we now need to build on this good work and unlock the full potential of renewables for transforming our energy system in the 2020s.”