Merkel Vows to Forge EU Deal on Post-Kyoto Regime
BERLIN Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday she would press during Germany's upcoming EU presidency for European agreement on a post-Kyoto regime to reduce greenhouse gases.
"International climate protection will be a central theme of the German EU presidency," Merkel said in a speech sponsored by the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin.
"In the EU, I will personally push for a negotiated package that lays the groundwork for a future climate protection regime."
The United Nation's Kyoto Protocol binds 35 industrialised countries to cut greenhouse gases to 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12.
Last year, ministers at a climate meeting in Montreal promised to extend Kyoto with a new set of rules starting on Jan. 1, 2013. But a U.N. conference taking place in Nairobi this week was split on whether that meant a new accord should be struck in 2008, 2009 or 2010.
"It is important that the EU takes a decisive first step," Merkel said.
Finland, which currently holds the EU presidency, has said it is very important to avoid a gap between the expiration of Kyoto and a new regime.
In addition to focusing on climate change, Merkel has vowed to revive the stalled EU constitution, work towards stronger trade ties with the United States and forge an energy strategy for the bloc.