Merkel at US climate summit

US President Joe Biden has invited 40 heads of state and government to a virtual climate summit this Thursday and Friday. 

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dpa

Berlin (dpa) – US President Joe Biden’s invitation to 40 heads of state and government to attend a virtual climate summit this Thursday and Friday has largely symbolic value: the US is returning to the negotiating table after a long absence under Donald Trump, who dismissed climate protection as superfluous. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also joining the online meeting; her speech is scheduled for Thursday afternoon. And in the Chancellor's Office there is already joy and relief that the new man in the White House, unlike his Republican predecessor, has taken up the fight against global warming.

According to the Chancellery, Germany is eagerly awaiting the "new national contribution" of the United States - i.e. concrete commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. China, which has so far declared its intention to become carbon neutral by 2060, is also in the spotlight. What is hoped for here are short-term goals. More needs to be done worldwide by 2030 if global warming is to remain well below two degrees, as agreed in Paris in 2015. Germany itself will be guided by the European climate target that the negotiators in Brussels finally set on Wednesday night. By the end of the decade, greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced by at least 55 percent compared to 1990.