Angela Merkel is the German chancellor, and she is a driving politician in the movement to combat climate change. She was one of the key leaders present when the Kyoto Protocol was hammered out in 1997. The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty that sets a framework for the global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
In Germany, Merkel’s environmental leadership is inspiring. She began her leadership for the country as its environment minister in 1994, and since then Germany has become a leader in renewable energy and emission reductions. Germany’s energy policy includes lofty goals like phasing out nuclear power by 2022, cutting greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050, and having 80% of energy used come from renewable sources.
And under Merkel’s leadership, it might just happen. Hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the energy sector have been created, contributing to a healthier economy and developments in the energy field.
Merkel knows that it is up to industrialized nations to lead the charge when it comes to cutting global emissions and slowing global warming. “The faster industrialized countries cut their emissions, the more willing other countries will be to do their bit,” she said, according to the Guardian. “An intelligent and fair regulation of CO2 reductions is in everyone’s best interests.”
She also realizes that the damage caused by global warming will be far greater than the cost of preventing it. “The costs of reducing emissions should be seen as a sound investment,” she said. “Unabated climate change will slash prosperity by between 5% and 25%. Rigorous climate protection will cost only 1% of this prosperity and makes economic sense.”
We just wish other world leaders would follow her example and put more force behind green measures. Because if we don’t get our act together soon, it may be too late.