The Renewable Energy urges Gordon Brown not to renege on 2020 Renewable Energy Targets.

The Guardian yesterday reported that a leaked government document contained recommendations to negotiate a reduction in the 2020 European Union target that 20% of all UK energy must come from renewable sources.

Campaigners in support of the renewable energy targets have already expressed their anger and The Renewable Energy Centre today released a statement highlighting how negative, both the political and environmental consequences could be.

Earlier this year the Blair administration signed up to the EU targets knowing the targets were going to be hard to achieve but that they were possible. At the same time Gordon Brown was establishing a European emission trading scheme which allowed wealthy governments to pay others to supply renewable energy in order to reduce emissions. The 2020 targets, if achieved by the UK, could undermine the credibility of Gordon Brown's scheme and it is thought that this could be a mitigating factor if the government are seeing to reduce the target.

Campaigners alongside The Renewable Energy Centre are concerned that the UK government will lose credibility at a global level with regard to climate change policy. John Sauven, director of Greenpeace stated "Gordon Brown is now in danger of surrendering any claim to international leadership on climate change". The leaked report has already produced comment from Malcolm Wicks, Energy Minister who confirmed the UK would source up to 15% of its power from renewables by 2020, 5% lower than the EU target but that the 20% target referred to Europe as a whole not all EU members individually.

Renewable supporters claim that the 20% target is realistic if the Government is prepared to invest in the technology and take action to achieve the goal. Andrew Simms, head of the Economic Foundation said "If renewable energy in Britain had enjoyed for decades the blank cheque that was written for the nuclear industry, today most of our electricity would be coming from a combination of wind, wave and solar power."

The Renewable Energy Centre commented that if the Government do renege on the energy policy it could cause significant negative press on an international level and will serve to continue to impact the ongoing effects of climate change. Richard Simmons Managing Director at The Renewable Energy Centre said "This is a time when the government needs to take a proactive stance, not one which is deemed "expensive" with "severe practical difficulties". The UK should be leading the way in terms of renewable energy and there are so many options available in order for us to meet the 2020 targets and even exceed them."

The Renewable Energy Centre warned that this shift in the UK's energy policy could have far reaching effects at home and abroad and both politically and environmentally.

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