An article in The Guardian by Arthur Nelson (9th May 2018) claims that a secret plan, to stretch targets backwards to comply with the Paris 2015 commitments, has been leaked by MEPs.
The EU has committed to a 20% in energy use by 2020, as a first stage in its more ambitious promise to the Paris conference of a 40% emissions cut by 2030.
The secret documents seen by The Guardian show that the UK plans to stretch its timeline backwards by four years, in order to use pre-2014 energy efficiences to be compliant with the EU directive. Then, once the UK has left the EU, it will no longer have to comply with the directive.
A member of the EU’s Environment Committee told The Guardian that:
“The UK’s proposal to widen ‘flexibilities’ is completely mad and undermines the principle of additionality, as well as the overall ambition of the energy efficiency directive. This approach would risk failure in our efforts to reach even moderately ambitious overall targets, while the higher – and beneficial targets – that we need to strive for could become lost altogether.”
According to the Shadow International Trade and Climate spokesman, the UN has asked countries to ratchet up their commitments on climate change in 2018. Instead the UK government is weakening ours.
At present, almost all of the UK environmental policy derives from EU law but Michel Barnier, has insisted that a ‘non-regression article’ be included in any final EU-UK agreement to prevent backsliding.
Sunday May 20th 2018
And now, the United Nations is getting in on the act. In a report in the Huffington Post today, it is said that Erik Solheim, Executive Director of the UN’s environment programme, has said that Britain must keep its promise to deliver a green exit from the EU. This story is also reported in The Observer.
Solheim has said that “Any dilution and the UK reputation would be damaged. People in government need to make sure that does not happen. We need to make sure they have those standards or improve them, or meet the ones under the European Union.”