Huhne makes EU debut

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne will attend his first meeting of EU environment ministers today in Luxembourg. On the agenda will be the European Commission’s recent paper on […]

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By Kelvin Ross

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne will attend his first meeting of EU environment ministers today in Luxembourg.

On the agenda will be the European Commission’s recent paper on moving beyond a 20% EU emissions reduction target, as well as a debate on international climate negotiations.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Huhne said: “I’ll be using my first meeting of EU environment ministers to make clear the new UK government’s support for ambitious European action on climate change, including a 30% cut in EU emissions. The commission’s recent analysis provides a welcome starting point as we discuss how to implement a higher target.

“We believe a move to 30% is achievable, right for the climate and right for our economies, as Europe focuses on a sustainable economic recovery. We can put Europe ahead of the game by taking new low carbon economic opportunities.

“Europe must take a lead in securing an international climate agreement though we can’t just click our fingers and hope the rest of the world will follow. We’ve got to make real emission cuts at home, and work constructively with all other nations in achieving that ambitious deal.”

Also attending the meeting will be Scotland’s Climate Change Minister Stewart Stevenson, who will meet Mr Huhne for the first time before the meeting.

Mr Stevenson will also meet Danish Minister for the Climate, Energy and Equal Rights, Ms Lykke Friis, to discuss areas of common interest in climate change and energy policy.

Mr Stevenson said: “It is essential for us to work with the UK government and other forward thinking states to convince others that further action is necessary and that a low-carbon Europe is both feasible and affordable.

“Scotland is already leading the way with progress on renewables and investment in low carbon technology and I will be showing our EU partners how such measures are boosting economic performance.