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Merkel Calls for Global Binding Regime to Confront Climate Change
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A global binding regime is needed to confront climate change, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday on the World Economic Forum.


"We also know that politics alone is not sufficient to prevent further consequences of climate change. We need a binding commitment (or) a binding regime that includes all of us," Merkel said in her address at the opening plenary session of the Forum's Annual Meeting.


Merkel, whose country is holding the rotating presidency of the European Union and will also preside over this year's G8 summit, has put climate change on the top agenda.


The European Commission, the EU's executive branch, proposed earlier this month to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from the level of 1990 by the year of 2020. The proposal is expected to win approval from member states on the EU summit in March.


Merkel noted that the EU is also offering a higher target of 30 percent cut by 2020 if other countries agree to join in.


"The environmental protection should be the top issue for everyone," she said.


On the eve of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, US President George W. Bush called in his State of the Union address for the country to reduce gasoline consumption by 20 percent over the next decade.


Merkel said the US move "inspired hope", and the goal is "very sensible."


The US has stubbornly stayed outside the Kyoto Protocol framework for economic concerns. Under the Kyoto Protocol, major developed counties are required to reduce their greenhouse emissions by 5.2 percent averagely by 2012 on the basis of the emission amount in 1990.


The Protocol will lapse by the target year and there is still no internationally agreed legal regime for the "post-Kyoto" era.


Germany will use its term to press for progress on climate change initiatives and increasing energy efficiency to ensure our children today can see ice tomorrow, Merkel told world political and business leaders gathering in Davos, the Swiss ski resort.


(Xinhua News Agency January 25, 2007)


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