Germany welcomes EU climate package as "ambitious and courageous"
German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel welcomes the energy and climate package put forward by the European Commission.
23rd January 2008
Berlin (dpa) - "We expressly welcome the goals and implementation of the EU measures. This is a very ambitious and courageous climate protection and energy package that the European Commission has decided on," he told journalists in Berlin.
Gabriel indicated Germany would be able to meet the goals on cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions set out and said he was "particularly pleased that German contributions on renewables and competitiveness have been adopted by the commission."
The commission's decision to use 2005, rather than 1990 as previously, as the basis for its calculations meant Germany would have to redouble its efforts, he noted.
Gabriel also welcomed measures to ensure that energy-intensive industries - he mentioned steel, aluminium, copper, cement - would be retained in the EU and not be compelled to migrate abroad.
"We need these businesses in our own country. It makes no sense to for them to migrate to countries where they face no climate regulations, taking jobs away from us and still damaging the climate," he said.
These industries would receive free allocations based on European benchmarks, he said.
Germany was ahead of schedule on its national goals within the European Union framework, he said, although he noted that if the EU were to increase its emission reduction goal to 30 per cent by 2020 from 20 per cent, Germany would have to increase its efforts.
Gabriel said his sole objection was the lack of targets on energy efficiency, calling the EU programme "relatively weak" in this regard.
Germany would take this to the commission, he said. But he warmly welcomed the carbon emissions scheme laid out by the commission.