UN's Leading Role 'Non-Negotiable' Merkel Reacts to Bush's Climate Change Proposal

In an interview with SPIEGEL to be published on Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that despite her disagreements on climate change with George W. Bush, she will not agree to any deal at this week's G-8 summit that would water down the UN's scientific findings on global warming.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel: "I see it as progress that the Americans are now acknowledging that climate change is primarily a process caused by human activity."
REUTERS

German Chancellor Angela Merkel: "I see it as progress that the Americans are now acknowledging that climate change is primarily a process caused by human activity."

With the G-8 just days away, the summit's closing statement has largely been hammered out. But there is still a ways to go if German Chancellor Angela Merkel is going to get the climate change agreement she so desperately wants. US President George W. Bush recently announced his own plan for developing a future climate agreement -- and it's miles away from the German position. Most controversial from the point of view of Berlin: Bush's plan would take climate control out of the auspices of the United Nations where Merkel thinks it belongs.

Merkel spoke with DER SPIEGEL in an interview to be published on Monday about the Heiligendamm summit and some of the controversial issues still under discussion. And she didn't seem to be in the mood to roll over and play dead in the face of Bush's new climate initiative.

"The issue is being negotiated down to the wire," she said referring to climate change. "You can assume that I will not agree to allow any trusted scientific findings like the United Nations IPCC report to be watered down."

In response to Bush's speech last week, in which he proposed a series of climate talks among the world's 15 largest C02 emitters, Merkel said: "I see it as progress that the Americans are now acknowledging that climate change is primarily a process caused by human activity."

But she was not so positive about Bush's apparent willingness to negotiate a climate change agreement outside the auspices of the United Nations. "To me it is clear that we must achieve, in a process led by the United Nations, a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol, which ends in 2012. There will certainly be meetings before that, and they can even be useful. But the important thing is that they must culminate in a UN process. This is non-negotiable, as far as I am concerned," Merkel said.

Check back with SPIEGEL ONLINE on Monday afternoon for the full interview in English.

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