EU environment ministers call for action on climate policy

Reuters

* Ambitious EU climate target for 2030 needed

* Carbon market structural reform required

LONDON, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Thirteen European environmentministers and dozens of business leaders urged the EuropeanUnion on Monday to adopt "ambitious" energy and climate goalsfor 2030 to create a low-carbon economy in Europe to spurinvestment.

In a 40-page document released at a green growth conferencein Brussels, they also said the 28-nation bloc should reform thestructure of the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS) and offer astrict emissions cut pledge at a climate summit next autumn.

Going against the tide of officials keen to blame greenenergy subsidies for higher energy bills, environment ministersfrom 13 EU countries and businesses including Coca ColaEnterprises and Shell called for action.

Notable exceptions included coal-dependent Poland which hasbattled against EU proposals to shift to a low-carbon economy,although two weeks ago, Warsaw said it would lead the call fornations to deepen emissions cuts when it hosts United Nations'climate talks next month.

"Businesses and investors are telling us that the EU needsto get its act together ... only then will investors have theconfidence to put the billions into low carbon that we need,"Edward Davey, Britain's energy and climate change secretary,said in a statement.

The EU has met a target to cut 1990-level greenhouse gasemissions by 20 percent by 2020, as a result of lower energydemand following recession and a shift towards green power, suchas solar and wind.

It is now debating a 2030 target and is expected to unveilproposals on the goal around the end of this year. EU sourceshave said the European Commission is looking at a 40 percent cutin domestic emissions versus 1990 levels by 2030.

Last week, Britain said the EU should cut emissions by 50percent by 2030 to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

A decision on the EU's 2030 target will form the basis ofthe its potential emissions reduction offer as part of UnitedNations' climate negotiations on a global climate deal.

Governments are under pressure to offer large cuts by aSeptember summit hosted by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

The European Commission is also considering ways to reformthe structure of the ETS, its main tool to combat climatechange.

EU carbon permit prices have lost around 75 percent of theirvalue over the past five years due to the over-supply of permitsand dampened demand due to recession.

The Commission is expected to publish structural reforms bythe end of this year, but it has yet to confirm details.

Some observers have said the favoured reform option would beto set up a mechanism to regulate the supply of EU carbonpermits.

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