EU net zero 2050
German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Image credit: Getty Images

The German Chancellor made the appeal following a meeting between her “Climate Cabinet” and their Dutch counterparts at Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s official residence. The two groups had met for a working lunch to share insights and experience in moving their respective country’s economy towards sustainability.

Germany is set to miss it’s own 2020 emissions targets, and Merkel’s government has acknowledged that it has to bolster its efforts in order to achieve its commitment under the Paris climate accord.

At present, the UK and Germany are both committed to completing the transition to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and whilst Merkel acknowledged the scale of the challenge in securing support from all EU member countries, she stated “it would be very important” to unite the EU and make the transition a common goal.

Merkel said that Germany could learn from Dutch transportation infrastructure and systems, as the country is noted for efficiency and promotion of low-or-no-emissions transport. The Netherlands boasts a country-wide network of bicycle tracks and EV chargers, with parking facilities for bicycles at major railways stations.

Merkel reaffirmed Germany’s goal to become climate neutral by 2050.

According to Merkel, Germany needs “a very thorough expansion of infrastructure if we want people to shift on mobility,”

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Merkel said Germany could learn from insights into the Netherlands' emissions-reduction efforts, in an effort to meet emissions-reduction targets efficiently.

The Dutch ministers explained their process to reach consensus on the country’s energy future, agreeing on a wide-ranging span of initiatives to cut the country’s carbon emissions by 50% by 2030. Members of both industry and society met over a period of months to debate the details of the country’s climate change package.

Ultimately, whilst sections of the deal have been welcomed by environmental groups, they still consider the reforms and initiatives to be insufficient to effectively combat global warming.