Energy targets 'could cause poverty'

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Energy-efficiency targets imposed by the EU could push more people into fuel poverty, it has been claimed.

According to former chief scientific advisor to the government Sir David King, speaking to the BBC, focusing too heavily on renewable sources of power could drive energy costs up further and lead to half a million more people living in fuel poverty.

"If we overdo wind we are going to put up the price of electricity and that means more people will fall into the fuel poverty trap," he told the corporation.

Under the EU targets, Britain will get 20 per cent of its energy supply from renewable sources by 2020, compared to the current two per cent.

In response to Sir David's comments, Maria McCaffery, chief executive of the British Wind Energy Association, told the BBC wind power is totally sustainable and an effective way to meet targets which would ultimately help the fuel poverty situation.

The Kyoto Treaty, which had been ratified by 182 countries by May 2008, is also aimed at cutting greenhouses gases and has energy targets based on levels of emissions in 1990.

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