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Calls for Government to review climate change policies

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MPs are calling upon the Government to “urgently review” its climate change policies, following warnings that the UK will fail to meet its renewable energy targets by the end of the decade – and could risk fines from the European Commission.

Energy and Climate Change Committee chairman, Angus MacNeil, said: “The latest Climate Change Performance Index shows the UK is the second best country in the world on tackling climate change. However, the experts we spoke to were clear: the UK will miss its 2020 renewable energy targets without major policy improvements”.

“Failing to meet these would damage the UK’s reputation for climate change leadership.

“The Government must take urgent action on heat and transport to renew its efforts on decarbonisation”.

Under agreements with the European Commission, the UK has targets to meet 15 per cent of its energy needs from green sources by 2020.

This includes 30 per cent of electricity, 12 per cent of heat and 10 per cent in transport.

Dr Robert Gross, director of the centre for energy policy and technology at Imperial College London, said that the Government had been failing to take the targets seriously since the 23 June Brexit vote.

“Leaving the EU does not mean that the UK can simply forget these targets,” he warned.

“UK legislation is predicated on them. The UK still wishes to take a leading role in the climate debate, and backsliding on targets is not consistent with doing so.”

MPs have warned that a lack of clarity surrounding the Brexit vote is not to deter the country from striving to meet its legally-binding, and ever-important, energy goals.