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Merkel Calls for EU-Wide Climate Neutrality by 2050

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a joint news conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in The Hague, Netherlands, August 22, 2019. (Photo Credit: Piroschka van de Wouw/Reuters) Click to Enlarge.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Thursday for the European Union to support ambitious targets for the entire 28-nation bloc to become climate neutral.

The working lunch came as Germany is set to miss its own emissions goals for 2020 by a wide margin, even as Merkel’s government acknowledges that it has to further ramp up its ambition by next year as part of its commitment under the 2015 Paris climate accord.

Merkel said Germany aims to become climate neutral by 2050.  While she acknowledged the challenge of winning support from all EU countries, she said “it would be very important” to make that the goal for the entire bloc.

Merkel said Germany, as it grapples with how to reduce emissions, could learn from Dutch transport infrastructure.  The Netherlands has an efficient public transport system, bicycle tracks throughout the country, and giant bike parking garages at major railway stations for commuters.  For drivers, there is a broad network of electric vehicle charging stations.

Germany needs “a very thorough expansion of infrastructure if we want people to shift on mobility,” Merkel said.

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