Gordon Brown will today be advised to make a U-turn on the Government’s target to expand the use of renewable energy sources.
Documents leaked to The Guardian newspaper show that John Hutton, the secretary of state for business, will recommend that the Prime Minister should work alongside Poland and other governments sceptical of climate change to “help persuade” German chancellor Angela Merkel and others to lower renewable objectives.
The target of 20% of all European energy by 2020 was signed up to by Tony Blair earlier this year. Germany has already increased its renewable energy share to 9% with Britain trailing at only 2%. The leaked report suggests that it could cost £4 billion a year to reach a 9% share by 2020.
The draft copy of the restricted ‘Energy Policy Presentation’ recognised that not meeting the existing commitment would be “very controversial” in addition to being “very hard to negotiate”.
“The commission, some member states and the European parliament will not want the target to be diluted, though others may be allies for a change,” suggested the report.
Commenting on the development, Ashok Sinha, Director of Stop Climate Chaos, said: “Nobody said it would be easy. But the UK has to show the political courage necessary to put the country on a low carbon energy path, maximising energy efficiency and renewable energy.
“We have a moral responsibility to do so and the opportunity to show others, through the tough choices we make, that we believe in the benefits of a low carbon economy,” added Dr Sinha.
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published: 12:11 - Tuesday 23 October