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Climate policy : Germany is the climate Laggards

Confidential documents that were created before this Friday, the end of the EU summit, show an East-West divide in Europe when it comes to climate change. In this respect, Germany is increasingly put on the brakes and slips further and further on the side of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, the refuse, the goal of "climate neutrality by 2050".

The leaked document, which EurActiv has access to, contain the of each of the member countries, proposed Changes for the final Declaration of the summit.

When it comes to climate protection shows a growing gap between two groups of countries: on the one Hand, France, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands support to bind a Plan of the EU Commission, the EU up to 2050 "decarbonising" the European climate policy, explicitly the objectives of the Treaty of Paris. Thus, the containment of global warming to be reduced to below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

A French amendment proposal underlines, for example, that Europe should strive to 2050", in accordance with the 1.5-degree target of the Paris agreement," according to climate neutrality. It also calls on EU member States, "a debate at the EU Council meeting in June, where the EU position for the climate summit in September in New York." Both Amendments were rejected and are to be found in the final draft currently.

On the other hand, Germany, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic refuse to link the climate protection measures of the EU, with the concrete is 1.5-degree target. They also reject any time-bound commitment for climate neutrality: The reference to 2050 as a target point for a climate-neutral EU has been deleted by you.

gap between Germany and France

"When it comes to climate change, there is clearly a growing gap between Germany and Poland on the one side and France and other governments on the other," commented Sebastian Mang, EU climate Advisor at Greenpeace.

"Germany is committed to the efforts of France and several European governments for a net-Zero target in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to stop," said Mang to

The EU-Commission had submitted in the past year, various scenarios for the development of the European climate policy up to 2050, and the EU urged member States to support proposals to reduce CO2 emissions to "net Zero" by 2050.

"I want to underline, without any doubt, that the EU's goal should be to reach the 2050 climate neutrality. There is simply no way around it,“ had Miguel Arias Cañete, the EU Commissioner for climate protection, and energy stresses, in an Interview with EurActiv in the beginning of February again.

climate scientists warned last year that a global warming of about 1.5 degrees Celsius would have a devastating impact on the planet. Extreme heat, Floods and storms could push millions of people into misery and "forced migration".

According to the Commission, "would have (such global warming) serious consequences for the productivity of the European economy", including food production. Such problems would also impact on the "political stability".

climate protests increase pressure

public support for climate protection measures has gained in the past few months, new momentum, in particular because of the millions of young people in Europe and around the world on the road to call for increased political commitment to combat global warming and climate change.

"The reaction in Germany to these unprecedented protests by young people around the world, Essentially, is to put the brakes on the European climate protection measures," criticized Mang. Finally, you have to hold on to: "Angela Merkel is clearly on the wrong side of history."

(Edited by Sam Morgan and Tim stone)

Published by EurActiv.

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