Germany aims to agree climate plan in time for Morocco talks

Moroccan security stand guard in front of the entrance of the World Climate Change Conference 2016 (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal (Reuters)

BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel's government will hammer out the final details of a delayed climate plan in the coming days so it can be presented at global climate talks in Morocco next week, her spokesman said on Wednesday. Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, leader of the Social Democrats (SPD) who share power with Merkel's conservatives, blocked a deal late on Tuesday on the plan that aims to reduce the country's CO2 emissions by 55 percent by 2030. "It was jointly agreed that in the next few days a deal should be reached," said Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert. The plan sets out how Europe's biggest economy expects to move away from fossil fuels and meet its objective of cutting CO2 emissions by 95 percent by 2050. It would implement pledges made by Germany as part of a global climate treaty agreed in Paris in September. Gabriel's unexpected veto came after concerns were raised about the planned exit from brown coal in Europe's biggest economy expressed by a mining union. An economy ministry spokeswoman said it was important to Gabriel to achieve ambitious climate and energy policies that also took into account modernization, economic growth and job security. Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks is due to take part in global climate talks in Marrakesh next week. German trade union IG BCE, with the support of the large BDI industry group, raised concerns about a commission included in the plans that was to focus on Germany's exit from brown coal. Calls have grown for Germany to set out a timetable for a withdrawal from coal in power production. A draft seen by Reuters did not include a timetable for phasing out the production of brown coal but Gabriel has said he expects it to remain in use through 2040. (Reporting by Markus Wacket; Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Michelle Martin and Tom Heneghan)