The case of the missing renewable target: Davey sets out EU goals

Britain will call on the EU to cut its carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 later today.

Ed Davey is expected to set out proposals for the halving of 1990 emissions levels across the EU if other countries around the world press on with efforts to tackle climate change.

Without international cooperation he will suggest the EU pursues emissions reductions of 40%, according to reports.

But the energy and climate change secretary faces criticism from environmental groups for failing to propose an explicit target for renewable energy.

Campaigners have suggested that decision raises question-marks about his commitment to increasing Britain's own renewable energy contribution to the energy mix.

"In setting targets, the government needs to say how they will be achieved. And this means making sure we get our own house in order," Christian Aid's senior political adviser Barry Johnston said.

"That is why a carbon capping target should be matched by a decarbonisation target in the UK energy bill, and the government pushing for binding EU targets on renewable energy and energy efficiency."

Chancellor George Osborne is believed to prefer natural gas to renewable energy, which is significantly less damaging to the environment than coal but much worse than wind, solar and other renewable energy sources.

Greenpeace's Ruth Davis told the Independent on Sunday: "Not for the first time, the irrational prejudices of the Tory right seem to have trumped the interests of working people in Britain."

Davey told the same newspaper he viewed the call as "achievable and necessary" and insisted the UK is "committed" to increasing the percentage renewable energy contributes to Britain's energy mix.

Today's move from the energy secretary makes Britain the first country to lay out its proposals ahead of the upcoming negotiations on the EU's 2030 targets.