Merkel encourages G7 leaders to agree tough climate goals

Mon Jun 8, 2015 4:43am EDT
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By Paul Carrel

KRUEN, Germany, June 8 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Group of Seven (G7) leaders to commit to tough goals to cut greenhouse gases at the final day of their summit in the Bavarian Alps on Monday.

Merkel, once dubbed the "climate chancellor", hopes to revitalise her green credentials by getting the G7 industrial nations to agree specific emissions goals ahead of a larger year-end United Nations climate meeting in Paris.

Climate change topped the agenda for Monday's sessions, at which the leaders were also set to discuss combating epidemics and other health issues, the fight against terrorism from Boko Haram to Islamic State, and African development.

In a boost for Merkel's push to combat global warming, Japan said on Sunday it would favour the G7 countries setting their own target for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

U.S. President Barack Obama kept his counsel on the climate issue on Sunday, the first day of the summit, when leaders presented a united front in facing Russian over the Ukraine conflict and discussed the global economy.

Japan and Canada were regarded before the summit as potential hold-outs on the climate issue, diplomats and environmental campaigners said.

French President Francois Hollande, who will host a U.N. summit on fighting climate change at the end of the year, was also looking for an ambitious commitment from the G7 to ending their dependence on fossil fuels by mid-century.

He was also seeking a financial commitment to aiding poorer countries to transform their energy sectors so they can reduce carbon emissions.   Continued...