The biggest energy companies in the UK have withheld their support for more ambitious emissions cuts in the EU, failing to support plans to reduce emissions to net zero by the year 2050 – despite publicly backing the plans.
According to the Guardian, Centrica (owner of British Gas), BP and Royal Dutch Shell all publicly said they would support more ambitious emissions cuts, but didn’t back the plans in an official consultation.
The new tougher target would see the bloc’s carbon-cutting ambitions increased from 80-95 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050 to a carbon neutral target. This, the European Commission said, would be in line with the Paris climate agreement objective to keep global temperature rises to below two degrees C, while pursuing efforts to maintain it at 1.5 degrees C.
Official documents compiled by Unearthed (Greenpeace’s investigative journalism branch) show that BP, for example, used the consultation to warn against putting forward the idea of a single fuel as the answer because all forms of energy will be required for long into the future. No reference was made to a 2050 carbon target.
According to the Independent, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary also blocked the new EU climate change targets, refusing to support writing it into the bloc’s strategic programme for 2019-2024. The hope had been that all member states would commit to going carbon neutral by 2050.
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