Merkel says achieving EU climate goals will be 'very hard work'

Merkel says achieving EU climate goals will be 'very hard work'
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that hitting the European Union's climate goals would be a challenge. 

“I predict that it will be very hard work to adopt this Green Deal,” Merkel said during an acceptance speech for an award in Spain, according to The Associated Press.

The European Green Deal, which Merkel referenced, aims to cut gas emissions by 55 percent and become carbon-neutral by 2050. 

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“I won’t be there anymore but will watch closely how far the ability to compromise goes,” Merkel added, per the AP. 

The chancellor's Christian Democratic Union was defeated by Germany’s Social Democratic Party in an election last month after the chancellor stepped down from her role that she's held for 16 years. However, Merkel will stay on in a caretaker role until a new government is formed. 

Merkel traveled to Spain was to receive the Carlos V European Award from King Felipe VI which honors people and groups that contribute to "Europe’s cultural and historical values," the wire service reported.

Merkel's remarks follow this summer's deadly flooding in Germany that claimed the lives of some 200 people. Experts say the natural disaster in Germany and others in the U.S., such as heat waves and fires, have been the result of climate change. 

"People speak much too often about the costs of climate protection and much too little about the cost of failing to protect the climate," Merkel said in July of the floods, the AP added.

In just a few weeks, Germany and other countries will gather for the United Nations Climate Conference. 

Alok Sharma, the president of the 2021 conference, called on the Group of 20 countries to increase their environmental pledges and their commitments to combating climate change.

"I could relay many other heartbreaking testimonies I have heard, from communities under siege from a changing climate," Sharma said earlier this week.

"The UK, France, Italy, Germany, the EU, Canada, the US, Argentina, Japan, South Korea and South Africa have done so. Now the rest must deliver," he added.