Angela Merkel acknowledged that Germany 's track record in reduction in carbon emissions was "not enough" to meet global warming targets of Paris climat accord , as the Chancellor reflected on achievements and opportunitiess missed from his 16 years of leadership.
Speaking at the last of his annual summer press conferences on Thursday, before leaving the head of Europe 's largest economy after the federal elections on September 26, Merkel said Germany " has done a lot "to recalibrate its economy in the face of the climate crisis, increasing the share of renewable energies in its energy mix from 10% to 40%, and reducing carbohydrates on emissions by 20% between 1990 and 2010, and an additional 20% over the next 10 years.
The 67-year-old nonetheless conceded that "what was achieved n is not sufficient "in relation to the Paris Agreement 's goal of limiting global warming to well below 2C, preferablye at 1.5C, compared to pre-industrial levels. Not just Germany, but the whole world had failed to meet its targets, she said.
"I am sensible enough for the science to see that the objective circumstances require that we cannot continue at the current pace, but we must step up the pace, "said Merkel.
Although the Germany alone cannot change the global climate, she argued: "the way we do it may set an example for others to follow ".
Merkel, who was Minister of the Environment under Chancellor Helmut Kohl from 1994 to 1998, said the fight for joint global steps towards more efficiency Climate protection had "shaped all my political work".
She defended the 2011 decision to phase out nuclear power by 2022, which critics say has made the country more dependent on coal-fired electricity. "For Germany, the die is cast," she said. "I do not see a government of the future changing anything in this regard.
The issue of the climate emergency has returned to the top of the political agenda after record precipitation and flash floods last week devastated large parts of western Germany , killing at least 179 people and leaving transport and energy infrastructure in parts of the Rhineland -Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia in disarray.
The German national weather service said on Thursday that the regions affected by the inondations last week could receive more heavy rains this weekend.
Merkel said the effort to rebuild homes, railroads and lines of energy in the flooded region would be a monumental undertaking that would require his efforts "until the last day " of his chancellery.
On Wednesday his cabinet held approved emergency financial aid worth 200 million euros (£ 170 million) for those affected by the floods, with state governments to match the federal aid package.
More than 4,500 civil protection officers, firefighters and soldiers have been deployed to assist with cleanup efforts in the Ahr Valley region , badly affected, in Rhineland-Palatinate.
Merkel said the extent of the damage had not yet been determined "but it ist huge ".
At the start of the extensive 1.5-hour press conference, Merkel also expressed concern about the" disturbing dynamics Of the Covid-19 pandemic in Germany, claiming that the Delta variant was behind another wave of "exponential growth" despite the fact that 60% of the German population received at least one injection of vaccine.
The German disease control agency, the Robert Koch Institute, on Thursday recorded 1,890 new infections in the last 24 hours and an incidence rate of 12.2 new cases per 100,000 people over the past week, down from a low of 4.9 in early July.