The EU’s energy chief is pushing for member states to adopt a more aggressive carbon reduction target ahead of UN climate talks later this year. The EU already has some of the most ambitious carbon emission reduction targets in the world but Miguel Arias Cañete, the EU energy commissioner, wants the bloc to go further.

“We have to press the throttle,” Mr Cañete said. After the US’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement the EU has continued to act as one of the leading advocates for reducing emissions targets. Under the new target, proposed by Mr Cañete, the EU would increase its carbon reduction target to 45 percent by 2030, up from the current target of 40 percent, relative to 1990 levels. Raising the EU’s official target requires the approval of member states through the council of ministers. His letter to the council of ministers will include modeling that shows the EU will “de facto” reduce emissions by 45 percent by 2030 because of the other energy targets that have been recently adopted.

Recommended The FT View Unprecedented heat cannot be ignored With new legislation, at least half of the EU’s electricity will come from renewable sources by 2030, Mr Cañete said. To reach the new energy and climate change targets will require a mixture of public and private investment of €379bn a year between 2021 and 2030, as well a 50 percent increase in the number of new renewables installed each year, Mr Cañete said. Reaching the new renewable target is “clearly a challenge,” he added.