UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair will complete a U-turn over green energy next week when he supports an ambitious 20 per cent mandatory target for renewables at an EU Summit. Blair is said to have overruled Alistair Darling, the Trade and Industry Minister, who wanted a voluntary agreement.

France has also indicated it will drop its opposition to mandatory targets, suggesting that next week’s summit will herald a surge in investment in wind, solar, biomass and other renewable power sources.

The news is a victory for Angela Merkel, German chancellor and host of the Brussels summit, who believes Europe’s commitment to tackling global warming would be hollow if member states pursued a voluntary approach.