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Merkel vows to resist EU climate deal if jobs threatened
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  • BERLIN, Dec 8 (AFP) Dec 08, 2008
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed Monday to resist any European Union deal on climate protection this week that might jeopardise jobs.

    Speaking ahead of an EU summit starting Thursday in Brussels, Merkel told the top-selling Bild newspaper: "It must not take decisions that would endanger jobs or investments in Germany."

    "I will make sure of that," she added.

    The EU has fixed an ambitious triple objective to achieve by 2020 the so-called 20-20-20 goals: a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels, strong commitment to renewable energy so it accounts for 20 percent of requirements, and an overall 20 percent cut in energy use.

    Merkel had championed climate protection during her presidencies last year of the EU and the Group of Eight most industrialised nations.

    But Germany and Italy have expressed reservations about the planned EU package, with Berlin in particular worried of an added burden placed on its heavy industry which has already been hit hard by the economic slowdown.

    Under the proposals companies would have to purchase rights to pollute.

    Berlin wants most emissions allowances to be free for industry, whereas the EU plans would see the percentage auctioned off gradually increased up to 100 percent in 2020, when every tonne of CO2 will have to be bought.

    Last week Merkel also warned that efforts in the 27-nation EU to lead the way on climate change would fail without a "sensible" global deal in 2009 that also involved the United States.

    United Nations climate talks are also taking place in Poland where representatives from around the world are attempting to lay the groundwork for a new global climate pact to be signed in Copenhagen in December 2009.

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