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"We must act today"

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Angela Merkel at the UN Climate Change Conference "We must act today"

The Chancellor is pushing for an agreement to be reached "that is ambitious, comprehensive, fair and binding". The aim must be to keep global warming down to a rise of no more than two degrees Celsius, said Angela Merkel at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel spricht auf der Klimakonferenz bei Paris.

Merkel: Klimaabkommen soll ambitioniert, umfassend, fair und verbindlich sein.

Photo: Bundesregierung/Denzel

In her speech at the start of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, Chancellor Angela Merkel laid out her vision of a global climate agreement. "Ambitious" she said, means that "in the course of the 21st century we need to largely decarbonise our economies".

Angela Merkel went on to explain what she means by "comprehensive". What is needed, she said, is an all-embracing transformation of "our economic activity across all sectors: industrial manufacturing, mobility, heat insulation and power generation".

The agreement must also be fair, continued the Chancellor. The industrialised countries must play a leading role in developing decarbonisation technologies. The richer countries must honour their pledge to provide the poorer countries with a sum of 100 billion euros every year as of 2020 to finance climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.

A question of inter-generational justice

"We need a framework for a UN agreement that is binding, and we need binding reviews," declared the Chancellor. Germany would like to see reviews once every five years, beginning before 2020. None of these components should be watered down over time. Indeed they must be strengthened. Angela Merkel continued, "We need clear transparency, in terms of the measurement methods used, so as to ensure credibility."

A global climate agreement is an ecological imperative and a question of good economic sense, said Angela Merkel. "It is a question of inter-generational justice. Indeed it is a question of the future of humanity."