Germany urges US to join Kyoto greenhouse pact
6 December 2005, MONTREAL, CANADA - Germany's industry and government Monday urged the United States to join the main international pact to curb greenhouse gas emissions - the Kyoto protocol that Washington has firmly rejected.
6 December 2005
MONTREAL, CANADA - Germany's industry and government Monday urged the United States to join the main international pact to curb greenhouse gas emissions - the Kyoto protocol that Washington has firmly rejected.
The appeals from representatives of Europe's largest economy came as a 180-nation conference on climate change struggled to decide whether to open talks on extending the Kyoto pact beyond 2012.
The German Industry Association, the main industry umbrella group known by its German initials BDI, called on delegates to decide quickly because companies needed to plan for the next five to 10 years.
"BDI is not against an extension of the Kyoto protocol," Joachim Hein, a BDI official at the meeting, told Deutsche Press-Agentur in an interview.
"But all of the big greenhouse gas emitters would have to join in," he added.
The United States is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, largely carbon dioxide caused by burning of fossil fuels. China, which like other developing countries is exempted from Kyoto's emissions-cut targets, is a growing contributor.
Greenhouse gases are blamed for causing global warming, which some scientists say is already leading to historic changes in the Earth's climate.
German industry has cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 30 per cent since 1990, largely because former communist East Germany's economy collapsed after German reunification that year.
"It's nice to be a pioneer, but we also have to make sure that someone is following us," Hein said.
German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel prodded the U.S. to reconsider its opposition to the Kyoto pact, including any similar treaty that sets binding international targets for emission cuts after 2012.
"Membership in the Kyoto club is worth it, also for the U.S.," Gabriel told the German daily Die Welt for its Monday edition.
He cited emissions trading and joint projects between companies in two industrialized countries as options under Kyoto that he said would be attractive for U.S. business.
Environment ministers will lead negotiations during the conference's last three days, starting Wednesday.
Subject: German news