Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

UK on course to meet carbon targets, says energy secretary

The UK is on course to meet its carbon emission reduction targets by 2020, energy secretary Ed Davey said ahead of a clean energy summit in London.

The meeting brings together energy ministers from 23 countries who are seeking solutions for power sources that do not fuel climate change.

Many Tory MPs are urging ministers to scale back support for wind power projects, saying costs are too great.

A fund to help firms demonstrate clean technologies is set to be unveiled.

The government hopes the two-day gathering will enable the UK to “showcase” what it is doing to promote energy efficiency and low-carbon development.

Ministers are launching a £35m fund to help entrepreneurs demonstrate low-carbon technologies such as advanced lighting, heat pumps and ventilation technology.

Mr Davey said the fund and other initiatives would “accelerate progress” on clean energy, telling the BBC that “this is a practical way that we can make sure we get to a low-carbon economy”.

Amid reports of divisions between the Conservatives and their Lib Dem partners about the cost of environmental pledges, campaigners say David Cameron’s aim to lead the “greenest government ever” is proving hollow.

But Mr Davey insisted ministers “were all in it together” when it came to the government’s environmental goals.

“This government is doing more on energy efficiency than any government in history,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “Indeed we are leading the world.”

He expected the UK to meet its target of sourcing 30 per cent of all electricity from renewable sources by 2020, with the “clean energy” sector having attracted nearly £5bn in private investment last year.

“We started off from a very low base. When we came to government, we were right at the bottom of the league,” he said. “But we really have now begun to turn that round and we are moving fast.

“If you look at the progress we are making and look at our plans, I think we will hit that target.”

Chancellor George Osborne warned last year that the UK’s drive to meet emissions reduction targets could not come at the expense of extra burdens on business and reduced competitiveness.

There has been tension in the coalition over the cost of offshore wind development, with more than 100 Conservative MPs urging the prime minister to cut subsidies for turbines.