German Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed Tuesday that her nation would do “everything humanly possible” to curb the impacts of climate change.
“Global warming is real. It is threatening,” Merkel said in the prerecorded New Year’s Eve speech. “We have to do everything humanly possible to overcome this challenge for humanity. This is still possible.”
Merkel has been a vocal proponent of efforts to tackle climate change, even as the Trump administration rolls back domestic regulations and pulled out of the Paris climate accord.
“At 65, I am at an age at which I personally will no longer experience all the consequences of climate change that will occur if politicians do not act. It will be our children and grandchildren who have to live with the consequences of what we do or don’t do today,” said Merkel.
“That is why I’m using all my strength to ensure that Germany makes its contribution — ecologically, economically, socially — to getting climate change under control,” she added.
The chancellor also urged German residents to make adjustments to their lifestyles to better complement international efforts, saying the next decade could see improvements in the world’s efforts to protect the environment.
“More than ever, we need the courage to think in a new way, the strength to leave familiar paths, the willingness to try new things and the determination to act faster, convinced that the unusual can succeed — and must succeed if the generation of today’s young people and their descendants should still be able to live well on this Earth,” she said.
“The ’20s can be good years. Let’s surprise ourselves once again with what we can do. Changes for the better are possible if we openly and decisively engage in new things,” she added.