German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that global efforts to combat climate change were insufficient, and that she would accelerate the fight to combat it in coming years.
At a news conference, she said the European Union needed to adjust the climate goals it has set for 2030, and that she wanted a carbon pricing mechanism for the industry and transport sectors.
The European Commission will next month propose a new 2030 climate target for a 50% or 55% emissions reduction against 1990 levels, compared with an existing goal for a 40%.
As current EU presidency holder, Germany is looking to steer talks between member states to attempt to strike a deal this year. The push for tougher goals has faced opposition from some eastern European countries concerned about the economic cost.
Germany is Europe’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, and the country’s environment ministry said last week that, while it can meet its climate target for 2020, it would have missed the goal if the economic havoc wrought by the coronavirus pandemic had not caused a large drop in emissions.
Swedish activist Greta Thunberg last week urged Merkel “to be brave enough to think long-term” in a meeting where they discussed the climate crisis and measures to fight global warming.