20 January 2008

EU demands action from Germany on climate goals

Reuter - Sat Jan 19, 2008 1:04pm GMT

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany must take concrete steps to tackle global warming instead of protesting when it comes to implementing planned measures, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso was quoted as saying on Saturday.

In an interview with German magazine WirtschaftsWoche, Barroso hit back against German protests about the Commission's proposals to cut emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2).

"We agreed on climate policy goals in the EU -- under the German presidency by the way," he said. "These plans must become concrete. We can't just talk about tackling climate change in general and then protest when it comes to implementation."

Although Chancellor Angela Merkel has made battling global warming a centerpiece of her administration, Germany has protested the EU plans would be too harsh on German carmakers, who form one of the country's most powerful lobbies.

The Commission wants a four-year phase-in period from 2012 for fines on manufacturers whose fleets exceed an average of 120 grams of the main greenhouse gas blamed for global warming.

The Commission will on Wednesday present draft laws on energy sector reform and ways to fight climate change, based on ambitious binding targets agreed by EU leaders last March.

(Reporting by Dave Graham)

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