23 Aug 2019, 13:29
Sören Amelang

Merkel says would support stepping up 2030 EU climate targets

Clean Energy Wire

German chancellor Angela Merkel has said she would back a Dutch proposal to significantly step up the EU's 2030 climate targets. She could "very well support" the Dutch suggestion to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent compared to 1990 levels, Merkel said after a meeting with Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte. The EU currently aims to reduce emissions by 40 percent by that date. Merkel and Rutte also support the proposal by new EU commission president Ursula von der Leyen to make the bloc climate neutral by 2050.

Merkel's statement is testimony to a considerable shift in the German government regarding climate issues. Exactly one year ago, she openly opposed more ambitious EU targets with the words "I don't think permanently setting ourselves new goals makes any sense." But in the interim period, concern about heat waves and the Fridays for Future movement have dramatically shifted public opinion in favour of more climate action. Merkel's government is due to present an eagerly awaited raft of measures to drastically cut emissions on 20 September, coinciding with the global Fridays for Future climate strike.

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