BERLIN, May 20 (UPI) -- Germany and France announced they would push for a strengthened agreement on climate change at an upcoming United Nations summit.
A joint statement Tuesday from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande, issued at the annual Petersberg Climate Dialogue of 35 nations in Berlin, called for an "ambitious, comprehensive and binding" global agreement on reducing carbon emissions. The plan will be discussed at the U.N. Climate Summit in Paris, a two-week session beginning in late November whose goal is an international protocol to limit global warming.
"We will announce at the conference in Paris that the global long-term goal is a reduction of at least 60 percent (of) greenhouse gases compared to 2010. That would mean a global reduction of 50 percent compared to 1990. Yes, it is very ambitious. But we believe if we join forces we will be able to manage that," Merkel said.
The campaign to reduce greenhouse gases is led by the world's industrialized nations, but developing countries seek more latitude to increase energy consumption as their economies grow.
"Let's mobilize, let's act," Hollande said. "It's urgent, it is within our common interest. Because, as the Chancellor pointed out, global warming is not only a threat, it is a crucial opportunity to invent another model of development."
Germany is ambitiously shifting to renewable energy and has pledged to cut carbon-dioxide emissions at a rate twice that of the European average. It also will make climate change the central issue of June's G-7 summit meeting, to be held in Schloss Elmau, Germany.