"We need all global players!"

Sun, 03.06.2007
Angela Merkel and Tony Blair against the backdrop of the Reichstag in Berlin
Vergrößerung (en)
Photo: REGIERUNGonline / Bergmann
Merkel and Blair: Preparations for the G8 Summit
The aim is to put in place a binding international process to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – under the umbrella of the United Nations. Chancellor Angela Merkel hopes to launch an initiative that will pave the way forward at the G8 Summit this week in Heiligendamm. On Saturday she discussed this with the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
In the fight against climate change we will need all global players, stressed the Chancellor once again in her talks with Blair. This meeting is part of the preparatory work for the summit. By Wednesday, Merkel aims to have spoken once again with all participants about the urgently needed decisions, as she said.
The Chancellor described the most recent initiative of US President, George W. Bush, for climate protection as "very interesting". Bush proposed that the world's 15 worst polluters agree on common emission goals by the end of 2008.

US proposal a "step forwards"

Merkel stressed the fact that all proposals are welcome, provided they lead to a UN process for further reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, to replace the Kyoto Protocol when it expires.
"We need all major global players on board," declared the Chancellor. The American undertaking to agree on post-Kyoto emission reduction goals is, she continued, "an important step forward".
Under the provisions of the Kyoto Protocol, industrialised countries have undertaken a binding commitment to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases: between 2008 and 2012 emissions are to be cut by 5.2 %. The agreement, which was signed in 1997, did not come into force until 2005, and is due to expire in 2012.

The international agreement calls for all 15 then EU member states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 8 % between 2008 and 2012. The EU environment ministers have specified the reductions to be made by the individual member states. They took into account current per capita emissions and any need of individual states to catch up in development terms. Germany has undertaken to reduce its emissions by 21 percent. The USA has not signed the Kyoto Protocol.


The objective: an agreement under the umbrella of the UN

Blair too emphasised the fact that there can be no doubt, "that we must achieve a worldwide agreement on climate protection within the framework of the United Nations". He would be doing his bit to get other G8 states to recognise how important this topic is, he maintained. Substantial reduction targets, as now accepted by the USA, are a first step in the right direction, he continued, "But we must go further. And we must say quite clearly how we aim to achieve these targets."
The Chancellor pointed out once again that the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm is not a climate summit. Further-reaching processes must be triggered there. Developments in recent years show us that this is possible. "We have a lot of hard work ahead of us, but we are making progress," stated the Chancellor radiating confidence.