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Merkel forced to compromise on 2020 CO2 target in attempt to form government

German chancellor Angela Merkel is set to accept a potentially embarrassing climb down on ambitious carbon reduction targets in order to form the next government.

In tandem with a number of other compromises being traded between suitors, Merkel’s Christian Democrats and the Social Democratic Party, led by Martin Schulz is an agreement to drop the plan to lower carbon dioxide emissions by 40 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020, two sources told Reuters on Monday.
Exploratory talks between the parties have instead set a new goal for the 40 per cent target to be reached in the early 2020s instead, adding that both parties are still sticking to their goal of achieving a 55 percent cut in emissions by 2030.

The deal would represent something of a U-turn by Merkel, who has long presented herself as an advocate for climate protection policies on the international stage.

The parties also agreed that the share of renewable energy in Germany’s electricity consumption should rise to 65 per cent by 2030 from roughly a third currently, the sources said.

Currently, the government plans to raise the renewable energy quota to between 45 and 55 percent by 2025.

Negotiators also agreed to cut the tax on electricity in order to reduce energy costs. They also plan to tender an extra 4 GW of solar energy as well as onshore and offshore wind-generating capacity, although the agreement worked out by energy experts on both sides must meet leader approval.

The two sides want to stick to an already-agreed climate protection deal which foresees a commission to submit plans for an exit from coal-fired energy by the end of the year.à‚