MADRID (AP) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday predicted that meeting the European Union’s targets to reduce emissions that cause global warming would be “a very difficult job”.
The so-called European Green Deal, concluded last December, provides a plan to cut gas emissions by 55% during this decade and become carbon neutral in the bloc of 27 countries by 2050.
“I predict that it will be a very difficult job to adopt this Green Deal,” said Merkel, as she received a European award at a ceremony in Spain.
She remains in the post on an interim basis until a new German government is formed following last month’s elections.
“I will no longer be here but I will be watching closely how far the capacity for compromise goes,” she told an audience in Cáceres, where she received the European Carlos V Prize from King Felipe VI.
Merkel called for a change in the way climate issues are approached.
Referring to the deadly floods in Germany last July, she said that “people talk far too often of the costs of climate protection and far too little of the cost of not protecting the climate”.
She also urged people to focus on “new market opportunities, new technologies, new job opportunities” arising from energy transformation.
The Carlos V Prize rewards people, organizations or projects which contribute to strengthening “the cultural and historical values of Europe”.
Previous winners include European feminist politician Simone Veil, former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.