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UK Government could face legal action over renewables targets

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Friends of the Earth – the environmental group – has expressed concerns about the Government’s likelihood of missing its promise to ensure 15 per cent of UK energy is from renewable sources by 2020.

The group has written a formal letter to Amber Rudd, the energy and climate secretary, to raise its concerns and remind her that the UK has a legal obligation to meet its targets.

A highly anticipated speech is expected to be given by Ms Rudd this week, to outline a change to Government policy, which many fear could mean that carbon reduction targets are sidestepped.

However, the campaign group has warned the Government that if it fails to meet targets it will take legal action.

No date has been confirmed for the upcoming speech, but Alasdair Cameron, a Friends of the Earth energy campaigner said: “Without serious additional action the UK is on course to miss its legally binding renewable energy targets for 2020 – and recently proposed cuts to support for wind and solar technologies will make matters worse.

“We will be writing to the Government to set out our concerns and warn of the potential legal consequences if its renewable energy action plan is inadequate.

“Renewable energy is the future – the Government must get on board and help build the low carbon, affordable economy we so urgently need.”

In a statement, a Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) spokesperson said: “Renewables make up around 25 per cent of our electricity generation and we are on track to meet our ambition for 2020.

“We continue to make progress to meet our overall renewable energy target.”

Missing EU renewable energy targets for 2020 is also likely in other countries across Europe: in June this year, the Guardian newspaper reported that France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Malta are expected to fall short.