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German Minister Who Criticised Unilateral Climate Targets Recants

Clean Energy Wire

The Chief of the Federal Chancellery, Peter Altmaier, threw his weight behind Germany’s self­imposed plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions, after calling national climate targets the “wrong path” last week. Germany will stand by its emission goals, Altmaier told the Clean Energy Wire in an interview.

Newspaper commentators said Altmaier’s controversial remarks from last week marked the start of climate policy election campaigning. Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany should specify its 2050 CO₂ target soon after the autumn federal election.

“We have defined different goals in the past, such as the 2020 and 2050 targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The 2050 target is the same as in the EU. We stand by the existing targets,” Altmaier told the Clean Energy Wire.

With his statement, Altmaier clarified controversial remarks he made last week at a meeting of the Christian Democrats’ (CDU) Economic Council, a CDU­-affiliated business association, where he said: “I am completely convinced that the path of national targets is wrong.”

German newspaper Die Welt had reported from the event in an article entitled “Federal government gives up solo runs in climate protection”. Altmaier called for “European and international targets” instead, Die Welt wrote.

The chancellery chief later sent out a message on Twitter saying “Please quote fully: I called for ‘ambitious’ EU targets instead of special national goals. #MyOpinion”

Altmaier now told the Clean Energy Wire he had only voiced his own personal opinion and did not question current targets. “This is not a departure from government policy.”

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