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Climate Talks

Angela Merkel: ‘Time is of the essence’ with climate change

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the delegates of the third Petersberg Climate Dialogue that "time is of the essence" in terms of climate change, according to a Reuters report.

She warned that global warming will accelerate at "a dramatic rate" unless leaders agree on a deal on limiting greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible.

The dialogue, at Berlin, was attended by delegates from more than 30 countries in preparation for a major United Nations climate conference at the end of the year in Qatar. The main topic of discussion was preventing the rise of global temperatures by more than 2 degrees Celsius.

Despite this, Ms. Merkel has not committed to participating in the climate conference, a report from Deutsche Welle said. She did stress that Germany would be well represented by Environment Minister Peter Altmaier.

She said the Durban conference brought both good and bad news - the possibility of a new climate treaty was seen, but only after the Kyoto Protocol runs out at the end of this year. The Qatar conference should bring a much-needed new impetus to the climate talks, the report furthered.

Reuters added that Ms. Merkel's comments came after Mr. Altamaier questioned the country's ability to reach its own climate goals, in an interview with newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

The goals include introducing 1 million electric cars and reducing energy usage 10 percent by 2020. Only 4,541 electric cars were in use at the start of 2012, according to the German Federal Motor Transport Authority. – N. Arboleda

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