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City leaders call for energy efficiency target

City leaders in Leicester, Milton Keynes, Aberdeen and Bristol have asked for the government to seriously consider signing up to a fixed energy efficiency goal by 2030.

The four cities have teamed up and sent a letter to prime minister David Cameron ahead of this week's European Council summit, where member states will discuss a potentially binding target that will encourage nations across the bloc to reduce their power consumption.

It has already been proposed that the EU impose a 30 per cent reduction target across the next decade and a half. However, this suggestion has been met with mixed reactions.

Some critics have argued the measure does not go far enough and a 40 per cent aim would bring about significantly more effective results. Meanwhile, the UK government has voiced its own concerns that a binding target - no matter how low or high it is - could give ammunition to anti-European political parties in the run up to next year's general election.

Energy minister Ed Davey recently stated he believed a compromise could be found, but with the date of the summit looming, a solution needs to be agreed upon sooner rather than later.

The leaders of the four cities are pushing for an accountable target as they believe it will help to improve the wellbeing of the citizens in the regions they represent, while also safeguarding jobs. 

Their main argument is that a fixed goal will give investors the confidence to fund the country's green economy and make the industry a more competitive economic landscape.

Bristol mayor George Ferguson said: These targets are needed not just to make sure the UK plays its part in achieving international goals, but for social and economic reasons as well."

He cited Bristol as an example of where there was "clear evidence that energy efficiency policies can increase quality of life".

Posted by Paul Taylor