Sunday

23rd Jul 2017

Merkel suggests new way of fighting global warming

  • The Kyoto protocol is due to expire in 2012 (Photo: EUobserver)

German chancellor Angela Merkel has outlined a new model for fighting global warming in a bid to get both industrialised and developing countries on board.

In a speech in Japan on Thursday (30 August), Ms Merkel suggested that carbon dioxide emissions - thought to be the main reason for climate change - should be tailored to the size of a country's population.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"We have to assume that emerging nations naturally don't want the same responsibility" as industrialised nations, the chancellor said, according to Deutsche Welle.

She went on to suggest that developing countries should be allowed to increase their emissions per head while industrialised countries should decrease emissions per head until the two sides meet.

The proposal is aimed particularly at countries such as India and China who are growing at a fierce economic pace and fear their competitiveness will be harmed if they have to adhere to strict green limits.

They believe they should not have to pay for the current state of the environment when it was largely richer countries that caused it.

Rich countries, on the other hand, see big emerging states as the future major pollutants and say they need to be fully signed up to fighting climate change.

Ms Merkel also stressed that countries need to set specific targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions indicating that vague commitments to do better are not enough.

"We are not going to get around the need for quantifiable reduction goals," said the chancellor.

She also said that the US must be a part of any international deal on climate change for it to be a success.

Until now Washington has refused to commit itself to the world's main tool for combating global warming - the international Kyoto treaty on climate change.

"I think America will cooperate - America must cooperate. If we can't find a regulatory regime that is accepted by the USA, then China and India will never agree to reduction targets," said the chancellor.

This is the second time she has made such a public stand on the issue. In June, as current president of the G8, she chaired a meeting that saw six of the world's most industrialised countries agree to at least halve global carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

Russia and the US - as the remaining two of the G8 countries were not on board - but she is credited with getting US president George W. Bush to agree that all G8 countries should make substantial but undefined cuts.

Ms Merkel's latest ideas are part of an ongoing international discussion on the period after 2012, when the Kyoto protocol expires.

Efforts at fighting climate change at the political level have stepped up recently as ordinary people see and feel the effects of drought, flooding or other catastrophes of global warming.

The EU likes to see itself as the world leader on this front. It has pioneered the first multi-country emissions trading system for businesses – something it also intends to extend to aeroplanes. It is planning to start producing cleaner cars and has set itself ambitious CO2-reducing goals.

However, it is also undergoing much internal debate on whether it can manage to compete economically while adhering to strict green targets.

NGOs query Merkel's G8 climate 'success'

World leaders yesterday managed to stave off calamity headlines at their G8 summit in Heiligendamm, but their climate change "breakthrough" has been condemned as insufficient. Meanwhile, the Russian leader surprised his US counterpart with an alternative suggestion on the missile defence shield.

Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU

Lawmakers in Poland adopted a controversial reform of the Supreme Court, despite warnings from the EU that the move could trigger a sanction procedure over the rule of law.

EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions

EU and UK negotiators presented their Brexit positions to identify common grounds this week, but that was made difficult by the scarcity of UK position papers.

Opinion

Winter is here for Spitzenkandidat, but he'll survive

Candidates from all political families should be presenting their vision on where the Union should be headed. European socialists want to keep the Spitzenkandidat procedure for future elections.

EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions

EU and UK negotiators presented their Brexit positions to identify common grounds this week, but that was made difficult by the scarcity of UK position papers.

News in Brief

  1. Polish parliament adopts controversial justice reform
  2. GMO opt-out plan unlikely to go anywhere in 2017
  3. Slovak PM threatens to boycott inferior food
  4. France takes Google's 'right to be forgotten' to EU court
  5. Turkey accuses German companies of supporting terror
  6. Israel's Netanyahu caught calling EU 'crazy'
  7. UK does not collect enough data to expel EU nationals
  8. Polish president threatens to veto justice reform

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  2. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  3. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  4. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  5. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  6. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Episode 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug
  9. CESICESI to Participate in Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on Postal Services
  10. ILGA-EuropeMalta Keeps on Rocking: Marriage Equality on Its Way
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEuFoA Director and MEPs Comment on the Recent Conflict Escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh
  12. EU2017EEEstonian Presidency Kicks off Youth Programme With Coding Summer School

Latest News

  1. Dutch coalition talks lengthiest in 40 years
  2. Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU
  3. EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions
  4. Law expert: direct EU powers have become too complicated
  5. Winter is here for Spitzenkandidat, but he'll survive
  6. Mafia money pollutes the EU economy
  7. Central Europe should be wary of Brexit stopping
  8. Poland's 'July coup' and what it means for the judiciary