Merkel Urges EU Partners to Match More Ambitious Climate Goal

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Chancellor Angela Merkel urged European Union partners to match Germany’s more ambitious path to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, and said wealthier nations must increase their contribution to funding global efforts to tackle climate change.

“As a long-term industrial nation, we are a role model and we cannot expect anything from other countries if we don’t find solutions ourselves,” Merkel said Saturday during a virtual discussion panel.

“We also need to make sure that all other European Union nations are on the same path,” she said. “We are not starting from zero, but we do need to do more.”

Merkel Urges EU Partners to Match More Ambitious Climate Goal

The fact that Germany is responsible for only 2% of the world’s carbon-dioxide emissions does not mean it shouldn’t lead the way in eliminating them, the chancellor said.

With a national election just over four months away and the Greens leading in opinion polls, Merkel’s conservative bloc and her Social Democrat junior partners are seeking to burnish their environmental credentials.

Their haste comes after Germany’s constitutional court forced the government to amend the country’s climate legislation. The judges determined last month that a 2019 law put young people’s future rights at risk by postponing most emissions cuts until after 2030. The coalition has now pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, five years earlier than a joint EU goal and the shortest timeline among major economies.

The bloc has also made a commitment to global climate action under the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

Merkel Urges EU Partners to Match More Ambitious Climate Goal

Wealthy nations have pledged to raise at least $100 billion annually in climate finance to support developing countries. Merkel said more needs to be done to make good on that promise, and ensure the burden of addressing climate change is shared equitably.

“In everything we do, we are aware of our particular responsibility as an industrial nation,” Merkel said. “Countries that are less well off are in a much more difficult situation.”

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