The UK Government recently joined other EU leaders to decide on a new set of energy and climate targets to be achieved by 2030. The major goal is to reduce Europe’s emissions by 40% from 1990 levels, however this has been deemed as unambitious by international observers and environmentalists (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/23/five-graphs-that-explain-the-eu-2030-energy-and-climate-deal ). UK leaders are happy with this 40% carbon cut and have set a legally-binding target of a 50% cut for 2025, three years earlier than the EU goal (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/may/17/uk-halve-carbon-emissions).
In order to achieve these targets, David Cameron has pledged to close all unabated coal power stations in the mid 2020’s, however, researchers at Imperial College London have undertaken modelling projects which show that the proposed policies would not be sufficient to achieve this (http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/analysis/2380248/dirty-coal-power-plants-could-still-be-running-in-2030-scientists-warn). They suggest that further legislation would be necessary in order to successfully reach this target.
According to the International Energy Agency, the EU will struggle to finance the decarbonisation of its economy whilst also keeping energy prices low enough to retain energy-intensive industries (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-12-01/europe-will-struggle-to-raise-cash-for-decarbonization-iea-says).
Our experts at REC recognise the struggles that both the UK and the EU will face in the next 15 years in order to achieve the targets set, but hope that the government will work with industry professionals in order to ensure that everything is being done to be successful with these aims. Our air quality expert Jethro Redmore tells us “Climate change is one of the most significant issues affecting our planet and strict legally binding reduction targets are a key strategy in achieving change. However, these present challenges for many of our clients and we are ideally placed to advise on how to adapt historical business practices in line with future needs’