• Germany's news in English

Merkel hails G8 climate change as 'step forward'

DDP/The Local · 9 Jul 2009, 11:27

Published: 09 Jul 2009 11:27 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Merkel attributed positive progress on climate issues to a sea change in US environmental policy. “Delivering on his promises” is something important to President Obama, she said.

The deal, which succeeded “after a long struggle,” included an acknowledgement by the world’s top industrial nations that they should lead the way for developing nations.

Germany, the US, Japan, Great Britain, Canada, France, Italy and Russia agreed to limit the rise of average global temperatures by two degrees Celsius. Key emerging countries also accepted the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research director Hans Joachim Schnellnhuber hailed the G8 agreement on common climate goals as a breakthrough in an interview with RBB-Inforadio on Thursday. To reach this goal, EU countries must reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent in comparison to 1990 levels, he said. Meanwhile, the United States should sink their emissions by 10 percent, he added, calling for “an all-out brake as far as greenhouse gases are concerned” between 2020 and 2030.

According to German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel, the 17 nations comprising the Major Economies Forum set a two-degree target on global climate change similar to the G8 agreement during a preliminary meeting in Rome.

But on the issue of greenhouse gas emissions, the G8, made up of the seven leading industrial nations and Russia, are struggling to agree on a common goal of a 50-percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050.

In the meantime, Merkel said there is “still much more to be done” in the run-up to a December conference on climate in Copenhagen, where countries are set to negotiate a successor policy to the Kyoto Protocol, which will expire in 2012.

The G8 nations also took action on the financial front, pledging to establish an international financial constitution and agreeing to revert to “sustainable budget management” once the state of the global economy improves.

Story continues below…

On Thursday, summit talks will expand to include emerging economies, such as Brazil, India, China and Indonesia.

Before the start of this year’s summit, Merkel visited sites in the L’Aquila region, which was devastated by an earthquake in early April.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd