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15 May 2019, 12:02
Julian Wettengel

Merkel’s net-zero 2050 pledge “nod to Paris”, revival of CCS debate – opinions

Clean Energy Wire

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s announcement to have the climate cabinet debate ways towards climate neutrality by 2050 is first and foremost “a nod to Paris”, writes Andreas Mihm in an opinion piece in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “At last a proposal by President Emmanuel Macron that is not immediately shot down by Berlin.” Calling for net-zero emissions by mid-century is de facto tightening Germany’s current goal of reducing CO₂ emissions by 80-95 percent. “Towards the end of her term, the "Climate Chancellor" formulates new goals. She does not do this by chance. Merkel knows that she is not only making friends. This makes the climate debate more serious - and more difficult.”
Merkel’s definition of climate neutrality – any remaining emissions must be compensated or stored via CCS (carbon capture and storage) – could be a “test balloon” to revive the CCS debate in Germany, writes Silke Kersting in an opinion piece in Handelsblatt. Kersting also writes that Merkel’s government has taken too much time to fight against climate change on a national level. “More time than is actually available.”
With wisdom that comes with age and experience, Merkel avoids taking the easy way out when she calls for a debate on how to reach climate neutrality by 2050, before joining the initiative by several other EU nations, writes Nico Fried in Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Merkel chooses the hard way: She forces her government – and the many fans of Macron's vision, especially in the SPD – to revisit a debate about controversial CO₂ storage”.
It is a “remarkable spectacle” that Merkel’s government is currently delivering in terms of climate policy, write Susanne Ehlerding and Georg Ismar in Tagesspiegel. “A CDU chancellor who rhetorically continues to portray the Climate Chancellor, but who is being held back by her own party and its new leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. An environment minister in Merkel's cabinet, Svenja Schulze of the SPD, who announces a lot, but gets little implemented.”

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