Eu 2030 Climate Deal Meets the Uk

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EU 2030 climate deal meets UK's core demands of ambitious cuts and choice
Having set a high standard, we can now influence countries like the US and China ahead of 2015's critical global climate talks * theguardian.com, Thursday 23 January 2014 16.32 GMT

Light trails from passing traffic illuminates a road as vapour escapes from the chimneys of Ferrybridge coal-fired power station, in Ferrybridge, UK. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images
On climate change, Britain is leading in Europe. Wednesday's proposal by the European commission for a binding 40% greenhouse gas reduction target by 2030 is a significant step forward. The commission has accepted our core argument that the EU's domestic emissions reduction target must be ambitious so we can influence countries like the US and China, ahead of 2015's critical global climate talks.
By leading on a strong emissions reduction target, the UK is persuading others on the need for member states to have the freedom and flexibility to develop their own energy mix to achieve these ambitious reductions. Rigid technology specific targets set for each country would not be cost effective – and EU members should be free to decarbonise in a way that is right for them, including renewables, nuclear, carbon capture and storage and energy efficiency.
Energy policy's central conundrum today is how to go green at the lowest possible cost. The commission's analysis confirms that British households pay some of the lowest prices for gas and electricity in Europe, but that is little comfort to people struggling to pay rising energy bills. So we have to achieve a fine balance. We need to invest in home-grown clean energy that will bring cheaper prices in the long run, shielding consumers from volatile international fossil fuel markets. But we also need to take people with us as we transition to a low carbon economy, and that…...

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