Merkel warns of difficult steps on climate

7th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

7 March 2007, Berlin (dpa) - A deal on cutting carbon emissions will be the first of a series of difficult steps for EU nations in the fight to tackle global warming.

7 March 2007

Berlin (dpa) - A deal on cutting carbon emissions will be the first of a series of difficult steps for EU nations in the fight to tackle global warming.

Merkel told the Financial Times she wanted Europe to take a "pioneering position" on meaningful green initiatives when leaders of the 27-nation bloc meet for a summit under Germany's presidency on Thursday.

The chancellor said she expected a commitment by the EU members to cut CO2 emissions by 20 per cent of their 1990 level by 2020 to signal the start for a round of difficult negotiations that would "put Europe at the forefront internationally."

"It won't be easy, but that's why the EU should make commitments now and take this pioneering position," she told the newspaper.

"The necessity to combat climate change and to reduce our energy dependency, coupled with the fact that Kyoto is now running out, have concentrated minds," Merkel said in reference to the Kyoto protocols on curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

She also conceded that Berlin had yet to overcome the scepticism of a dozen governments, led by France, which oppose a binding obligation to raise the share of renewable resources in Europe's energy mix to 20 per cent by 2020.

Merkel said that taking the lead on climate change would also have economic advantages as it would create the necessary incentives for European industry to develop "cleaner technologies" that could then be exported.

The chancellor said she planned to present the results of the EU summit to a meeting of Group of Eight leaders which Germany is hosting in June.

Merkel said her long-term goal was an agreement for the time after Kyoto expires in 2012 that includes a global version of Europe's carbon trading scheme to cut emissions.

DPA

Subject: German news

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