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Cracks appear in German government over planned climate law

AP  |  Berlin 

Germany's minister on Monday backed a European proposal to virtually eliminate man-made emissions by mid-century, deepening divisions within the over how to tackle

French and eight either EU countries pitched the plan at a summit of European leaders last week, but was a notable holdout. "I don't think this decision is final," said Minister of the center-left Social Democrats, the junior partners in

"I think we should talk about it again. Because I think it's very sensible to stand alongside and work to say at the EU-level that we want to implement "

The 2015 climate accord, approved by almost all countries around the world, set a target of keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) by the end of the century compared to pre-industrial times.

Scientists say this is only possible if emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide are drastically reduced in the coming decades.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a meeting of 35 countries in Berlin, Schulze also favored the introduction of a carbon tax to discourage fossil fuel use.

The of Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union party, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, has instead favored expanding an EU-wide carbon trading system.

A recent poll for found topped immigration as the issue Germans are most concerned about.

But the survey of 1,357 phone respondents, conducted May 7-9, also found 61 per cent oppose a carbon tax on fossil fuels, even if other taxes are cut. Only 35pc were in favour, according to the polling agency.

Despite its much-vaunted plan for an "energy transition" away from fossil fuels and to renewable power sources, has struggled to lower its emissions in recent years, particularly in the area of

is set to miss its reduction target for 2020 and under EU rules it could be forced to buy billions of euros (dollars) worth of carbon credits from other countries starting in 2021. A report published Monday by the Carbon Disclosure Project, a London-based research firm, listed 43 cities around the world that are leading on environmental action. None of them are in Germany.

Schulze said she wants Cabinet to pass a "strong" this year.

"This is about big investment decisions that affect all of society, each and every one but also industry," she said.

"We need certainty about where the journey is going.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 13 2019. 16:26 IST