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Updated: December 17, 2009 16:41 IST

Merkel calls on US for deeper emissions cuts

AP
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An offer by the United States to cut only 4 percent, from 1990 levels, is not ambitious enough: Angela Merkel
AP An offer by the United States to cut only 4 percent, from 1990 levels, is not ambitious enough: Angela Merkel

The United States must pledge deeper emissions cuts, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday as she stressed the urgency of reaching a concrete agreement at the U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen.

In an address to parliament before heading off to Copenhagen, Merkel expressed hope that the presence of “more than 100 heads of government and state would inject the conference with a new energy to push toward success.

“I believe this Copenhagen conference is the primary touchstone for whether we will succeed in setting a new path of global development, of sustainability,” Merkel told lawmakers.

Merkel called on all industrialized nations to make deeper cuts in emissions of carbon dioxide and other global warming gasses, but singled out the United States.

“I have to be honest, an offer by the United States to cut only 4 percent, from 1990 levels, is not ambitious enough,” Merkel said.

The EU has pledged a 20 percent cut that could increase to a 30 percent cut if other developed nations also make far-reaching pledges.

At the same time, she urged developing countries such as China and India to rein in their emissions growth, warning that without their commitment, there would be no way to reach a binding international agreement.

China is the world’s largest carbon polluter, followed by the United States.

The chancellor also underlined the need for a financial mechanism to be in place in order to help developing nations reach their climate goals.

“We know that we also need reliable financial mechanisms to fight climate change,” Merkel said, underlining Germany’s pledge of $10 billion to help developing nations reduce global warming as they industrialize.


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