Germany warned off ambitious climate policies

Müller sparks barrage of criticism by forecasting heavy economic impact from big emission cuts

A long-awaited energy policy paper presented today by German economics minister Werner Müller has caused a furore within the country's coalition government and attracted sharp criticism from environmental groups. Mr Müller warns against over-ambitious greenhouse gas emission cuts, which he claims would damage the economy and reduce Germany's energy security.

The report presents two scenarios for greenhouse gas emissions in 2020. One, dubbed "likely," assumes a 16% cut on 1990 levels, which is two percentage points higher than at present. An "ambitious" scenario assumes a 40% cut on 1990, a level previously proposed but never officially adopted as government policy (EED 27/06/01).

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