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Germany's Angela Merkel pushes for carbon pricing 'worldwide' at final climate conference

DW, 07 May 2021
Germany's Angela Merkel, in her last climate summit as chancellor, told representatives from some 40 countries on Thursday that a carbon pricing system would help keep global CO2 emissions in check.

"From my point of view, it would be very desirable if we also had a CO2 price worldwide, which would have to be introduced step by step," she told the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, which was held online this year. Merkel initiated the Petersberg conference in 2009, after negotiations at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15) stalled.

Merkel on Thursday urged other countries to follow Germany's carbon tax example, citing the €25 ($30) per ton tax slapped on carbon dioxide emitted by the country's transport and heating sectors this January, saying, "In the interest of future generations all over the world, it is important that we act quickly and decisively to limit the dramatic consequences of global warming."

The chancellor's remarks also come a day after the German government announced plans to implement more "ambitious" climate goals to curb emissions after a landmark ruling by the country's top court declared a prior key climate protection law "insufficient."

Many observers in Germany found Merkel's performance at the annual summit, a preparatory meeting for this November's UN COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, disappointing for its lack of vision — especially considering the fact that it was Merkel who called for the first such summit 12 years ago.

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