There is no chance Britain or Europe will meet greenhouse gas emissions targets by the set deadline, the head of the Confederation of British Industry has said.
Richard Lambert, CBI director general, also said there was no chance of Britain meeting European Union (EU) targets for renewable energy by 2020.
The EU commission wants nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a fifth and generate a fifth of energy across the trading from renewable sources by 2020.
The UK is obliged to increase its renewable energy contribution to 15 per cent by 2020 from the current two per cent level.
Mr Lambert said the increase was not realistic as it would cost "a hell of a lot of money".
Moreover it was uncertain whether the longer-term emission targets for 2030 and 2050 could be reached, he said.
On the question of the EU emissions trading scheme, he said it was important to support it and make it better.
The sentiment was shared by E.ON chief executive Paul Golby who said the target would be "exceptionally challenging".
"Getting 15 per cent of energy from renewables translates into getting 35 to 40 per cent from electricity. We are nowhere near that and the obstacles getting there are formidable."
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