Merkel: ‘very hard work’ ahead to achieve EU climate goals

World

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, left, and Spain’s King Felipe VI speak with German Chancellor Angela Merkel before she received the Spanish Charles V European award in the Yuste monastery in Cuacos de Yuste, western Spain, Thursday Oct. 14, 2021. (Manuel Angel Laya/Europa Press via AP)

MADRID (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel predicted Thursday that achieving European Union targets for slashing emissions that cause global warming will be “very hard work.”

The so-called European Green Deal, agreed last December, provides a blueprint for cutting gas emissions by 55% over this decade and becoming carbon-neutral in the 27-nation bloc by 2050.

“I predict that it will be very hard work to adopt this Green Deal,” Merkel said, as she received a European prize at a ceremony in Spain.

She remains in office in a caretaker capacity until a new German government is formed following last month’s elections.

“I won’t be there anymore but will watch closely how far the ability to compromise goes,” she told an audience in Cáceres, where she received the Carlos V European Award from King Felipe VI.

Merkel appealed for a change on how climate issues are addressed.

Referring to deadly floods in Germany last July, she said “people speak much too often about the costs of climate protection and much too little about the cost of failing to protect the climate.”

She also urged people to focus on the “new market opportunities, new technologies, new employment opportunities” stemming from the energy transformation.

The Carlos V award honors people, organizations or projects that help enhance “Europe’s cultural and historical values”.

Previous winners include European feminist politician Simone Veil, former German chancellor Helmut Kohl and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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