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German chancellor uncertain about climate breakthrough at G8 meeting

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that she was not sure if a breakthrough could be achieved on climate change during the upcoming G8 summit to be held in Germany in early June.

„I don't know if we will succeed in that,” Merkel said in a speech to Bundestag, or lower house of parliament. Germany, which holds the rotating presidency of the Group of Eight (G8) leading industrialized nations, has hoped to lay a groundwork for an extension of the Kyoto Protocol that expires in 2012. It is important the G8 can agree that environmental protection and economic growth can go hand in hand, she said.

The Bush administration has reportedly intended to remove parts of the G8 resolution draft, submitted by Germany and designed to tackle the world's climate crisis. Germany has been trying to persuade the G8 countries to agree on cutting energy consumption by 20% by 2020 and raising energy efficiency in transport and power generation by the same percent over the same period.

It also calls for actions to limit the rise in global temperatures to two degrees Celsius this century and to cut carbon emissions by 50% below 1990 levels by 2050. Germany will host the upcoming meeting of Group of Eight (G8) leaders in the Baltic resort of Heiligendamm on June 6-8. The meeting, with the theme of „growth and responsibility,” will focus on climate change, development in Africa and global economic cooperation. (