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German cabinet agrees on new climate package
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The German cabinet agreed on a new package of measures on Wednesday to reduce the country's greenhouse emissions up to 40 percent by 2020.

The cabinet agreed on over a dozen laws and regulations, including one that will ensure that by 2020 half of German electricity comes from renewable energy or highly efficient heat and power plants.

"I think this is the biggest and most ambitious set of laws and guidelines you'll find anywhere in the world," German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel told reporters after the cabinet meeting.

The agreement was expected to send a strong signal to the delegates in Bali, Indonesia for a major U.N. Climate Change conference which is expected to kick off the deadlocked international negotiations on reduction of global carbon emissions before the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

Germany has vowed to cut its carbon emissions up to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 despite bitter complaints from some industrial leaders that the aspiring goal seemed somewhat " unrealistic."

In March, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, then chair of the European Union, persuaded other EU leaders during an EU summit in Brussels to unilaterally cut the 27-bloc's emissions by 20 percent by 2020.

(Xinhua News Agency December 7, 2007)


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