More German action on climate demanded

NGOs claim transport, economics, finance, ministries are serious obstacles to lower emissions

Germany will not meet its international obligation to cut greenhouse gas emissions unless the government adopts a new package of climate protection measures without delay, leading environmental groups warned yesterday.

Recent pieces of environmental legislation, such as a renewable energy support law, are "steps in the right direction, but not enough", according to the groups. They also accused the economics, finance and transport ministries of being "serious deterrents" to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. They "seem not to have grasped that modern environmental policy is not the responsibility of the environment ministry alone," said Anja Köhne of the German Nature Protection Society (DNR).

The NGOs called on the economics ministry to establish long-term climate goals. The finance ministry should authorise euros 2.6bn (DM5bn) annually in investment for more energy-efficient buildings, they said. The transport ministry should introduce motorway speed limits and long-distance traffic charges, and pour "massive investment" into environmentally-friendly transport modes.

Follow Up:
WWF Germany, tel: +49 69 79 14 40; DNR, tel: +49 228 35 90 05.

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