Germany is taking a longer view on global warming. It says an eight percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions – a Kyoto Protocol commitment – is inadequate. The current EU presidency, under Chancellor Angela Merkel, will propose that the world’s industrialised countries cut their greenhouse gas emissions by sixty to eighty percent by the middle of this century — say German media reports.
The EU target proposal for 2020 will be twenty percent, or thirty if other major players come aboard. These proposals will be tabled this Thursday and Friday when the EU leaders hold a Council summit, in Brussels. The business daily Handelsblatt writes that if the Council adopts Berlin’s text, it could be presented at the G-8 summit in June, also presided over by Germany.
According to the paper, Germany’s and Italy’s social democrats want the protection of the environment written into the European Constitution. Other projects include adding the aviation sector to the EU’s CO2 quota exchange bourse. And cars made in Europe would see 120 grammes-per- kilometer limits on the CO2 averages they emit.
Wary of over-ambitious goals, the EU commissioner for industry, German Guenter Verheugen, has warned against taking “hysterical climate action” which could give less environmentally conscientious parts of the world a greater competitive advantage. Meanwhile, European environment agency data projects that if present trends continue, temperatures on the continent could rise by six degrees Celsius by the end of this century.