Merkel rejects EU proposal for sharper emissions cuts targets

(VOVWORLD) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected a proposal Sunday, floated by the European Commission last month, of setting new, stricter emissions cuts targets, saying EU countries should focus on meeting the targets they have already set themselves.

Ms. Merkel said extreme temperatures across the northern hemisphere this summer have fuelled concerns that climate change is gathering pace, leading dozens of countries to call for greenhouse gas emissions to be cut at a faster rate than planned. Merkel says such calls, most recently from the European Commission's climate chief Miguel Arias Canete, for swifter cuts to harmful carbon dioxide emissions would be counterproductive, adding that setting new goals made little sense when European countries were already struggling to meet their cuts targets.