The UK government has been trying to water down key environmental regulations in Brussels despite trumpeting its commitment to green issues at home, leaked documents show.
The papers, seen by the Guardian, reveal British officials repeatedly trying to prevent the adoption of EU rules on energy efficiency, curtailing the proposals and making them voluntary rather than mandatory in many cases. In addition, the UK has tried repeatedly to ensure that the EU does not adopt a new target for renewable energy generation.
They are significant because they indicate that Ed Davey, the energy secretary, has given his blessing to similar lobbying attempts in the months before he took office in February. These government efforts have the backing of the UK’s big six energy firms, according to other documents obtained under freedom of information rules. […]
In one leaked document, from the Council of the EU on the draft 2050 proposals on energy, the UK has attempted to excise a reference to a potential 30% target for renewables by 2030, replacing it with the much more vague wording of “a significantly increased share for renewable in the energy mix”. At another point in the document, which is dated 23 April 2012, the UK has tried to remove the word “urgent”