“The German government stands fully behind the Paris climate accord, because ambitious climate policies don’t just help limit the worst consequences of climate change , they also offer chances for innovation and therefore growth and prosperity worldwide,” she said.
Germany, the strongest economy in the 28-nation European Union, was once a leader in the fight against climate change but has fallen behind in recent years. Officials predict that Germany will miss its goal of cutting emissions by 2020 by a wide margin.
“We in Germany have to admit that we need to get better,” said Merkel, adding that the biggest worry was the country’s transport sector, which has seen emissions rise slightly compared to 1990.
The talks in Berlin, attended by ministers from some 30 countries, are part of a series of meetings preparing for December’s global climate summit in Poland.
Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland’s prime minister, told ministers that the summit’s host city of Katowice, a former center of heavy industry and coal mining, would be a showcase for the economic shift that is needed to prevent climate change.