German parties agree to drop 2020 climate goal: report
BERLIN — Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) agreed during preliminary coalition talks to give up the country’s climate goal for 2020, according to media reports.
The two blocs decided that reaching the goal — to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020 — is unrealistic, Reuters reported Monday, citing sources close to the discussions.
Instead, the parties said they would put together a plan to reach that goal in the early 2020s, and would stick to the country’s 2030 goal of a 55 percent emissions reduction.
Merkel’s conservative Union (which includes her Christian Democrats and the Bavaria-based Christian Social Union) and the SPD began talks Sunday toward potentially forming another “grand coalition.” They are expected to wrap up discussions by the middle of the month, at which point they will decide whether to progress to formal negotiations.
During a failed attempt last fall at forming a coalition with Merkel’s Union, the Green party and the liberal Free Democrats, the negotiating parties had agreed to uphold Germany’s climate goals, including for 2020. However, they never agreed on precisely how those goals would be reached — an issue which ended up becoming a major sticking point between the parties.