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EU President Germany Urges Action on Global Warming

Date: 12-Feb-07
Country: GERMANY

German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened her speech to a security conference with an unusual message for a gathering which in recent years has focused mainly on issues such as the Middle East conflict and global terrorism.

"Global warming is one of the most dramatic long term threats we face," she told the conference in the southern city of Munich, adding that climate change demanded urgent action.

"One thing is clear -- this threat is touching everyone, no one can run away."

Portraying climate change as the war of the future, she said the threat demanded coordinated action from world nations.

Among those in the audience were Russian President Vladimir Putin, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and US Senator for Arizona John McCain.

The United States, Russia and China have been reluctant to join global efforts to tackle climate change.

But Merkel has made tackling global warming a priority of Germany's dual EU and G8 presidencies. She wants to push nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy and shift to renewable fuels.

She has also talked of making progress on a framework agreement to reduce greenhouse gases after the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012.

Germany's left-right coalition is, however, itself divided on several energy policies and the government has resisted some EU initiatives to cut emissions.

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Reuters
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