From: Reuters
Published December 4, 2007 06:17 AM

Germany to outline laws on reducing CO2: report

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany will outline legislation this week on its plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020 compared with 1990 levels, a German newspaper said on Tuesday.

Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel is due to present the government's energy and climate program on Wednesday after approval by the cabinet, including what laws will be needed to enable it to reach the ambitious target.

"The government will seek by 2020 to cut emissions by 40 percent compared to 1990 levels as the German contribution to global climate protection after 2012," the Passauer Neuen Presse newspaper quoted the report as saying.

The report includes the possibility of a CO2 tax for trucks.

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Germany's CO2 reduction has stagnated since the mid-90s. Most of its 18 percent cut to date since 1990 is due mainly to the collapse of the heavily polluting Communist East German industry that disappeared after unification.

The government has also given its blessing to some 20 coal-burning power plants, needed to fill the void created by the phasing out of nuclear plants.

Greenpeace has said that if all 24 planned power plants are built -- six are under construction -- there is no way the country can meet its target of cutting CO2 by 40 percent.

Government officials from across the world are meeting in Bali, Indonesia this week to try to forge a global plan to combat climate change before the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

(Reporting by Sylvia Westall, editing by Tim Pearce)

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