Angela Merkel and François Hollande have pledged to strive for an end to fossil fuel pollution as part of a “profound transformation” of the global economy this century.
The strong assertion is aimed at reaching an “ambitious, comprehensive and binding” global climate deal ahead of a UN meeting of almost 200 countries in Paris in December.
“We will strive to decarbonise fully the global economy over the course of this century,” the German and French leaders said in a joint statement in Berlin after talks with other country representatives ahead of the Paris summit.
Ms Merkel is expected to drum home the issue with leaders of the US and other large economies when Germany hosts the G7 meeting next month. The German chancellor also called for global greenhouse gas emissions to be cut by at least 60 per cent by 2050 from 2010 levels.
Both leaders backed a worldwide carbon emissions trading system, adding there was a need for “concrete action for a profound transformation of the world economy and society”.
“We have to make a complete shift to a carbon-free economy. Germany and France support this and advocate this everywhere,” Ms Merkel said.
The 60 per cent target is in line with science around global warming, which states that fossil fuel emissions could raise the temperature in a disastrous way.
But countries relying heavily on fossil fuel production fear such a step would impose a painful burden on their economies and some are reluctant to enshrine such a goal in any agreement reached in Paris.
Instead, they want to stick to a vaguer goal countries agreed to in past UN climate talks, to stop global temperatures rising more than 2C from pre-industrial times.
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