Climate-Change Plan Ahead of U.N. Meeting in Marrakesh Delay

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Postponement marks latest stumble for Germany in cutting emissions since it decided to speed up phaseout of nuclear energy

The German government is postponing approval of a wide-ranging set of measures to combat climate change less than a week before a high-profile international meeting on combating global warming.

The decision, announced Wednesday, marks the latest embarrassment for a country that once pioneered the fight against global warming but has since seen its environmental credentials tarnished.

Germany’s planned strategy—a set of measures to cut greenhouse-gas emissions—is intended to ensure that Europe’s largest country meets its pledge at the United Nations’ climate summit in Paris a year ago. Berlin had hoped to have the blueprint ready for the U.N. climate summit in Marrakesh, Morocco, next week, but it has become bogged down in bickering between the parties in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s left-right coalition in Berlin.

While the postponement won’t have an immediate impact on the implementation of the 190-country Paris deal, experts said a weak showing from Germany at the Marrakesh meeting could have a corrosive effect. Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks told a group of regional newspapers on Wednesday that the plan wouldn’t be ready until December.

“Germany has long been one of the climate leaders within the European Union and also internationally,” said Robert Falkner, an associate at the London School of Economics and Political Science’s Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. “When it comes to Morocco…countries will be looking at how they’re developing,” he said.

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