amber rudd energy secretary
Amber Rudd told the select committee it was still her aim to meet the 2020 targetReuters

A letter leaked to the Ecologist on 9 November has revealed the UK is not on track to meet legally binding EU targets on renewable energy. The letter to MPs from Energy Secretary Amber Rudd says missing targets would put the UK at risk of legal action as well as large fines from the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

By 2020, the UK is supposed to source 15% of its energy from renewable sources but the letter showed the country is on track for 11.5%.

Rudd faced the Energy and Climate Change Committee on 10 November where she said that but that the Department of Transport should also be part of making up the shortfall.

Lisa Nandy, Labour's shadow energy secretary, said the revelations damaged the UK's international reputation "less than a month before the important Paris Summit".

She added: "At the very same time the energy secretary is telling her colleagues in private we're not on course to meet our legal target on clean energy, she is cutting wind and solar schemes that could help us to meet it."

Rudd also suggested in the letter that the UK could buy in renewable energy from other European countries such as Norway or purchase "statistical credits" from countries that have overshot their targets. However, the Ecologist says the ECJ would not accept any statistical credits.

A number of recent reports have shown the government's energy policies will in fact increase the UK's CO2 emissions. On 9 November, the Met Office announced 2015 is set to be the first year where global temperatures reach 1C over pre-industrial levels.