German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been a fervent proponent of the fight against climate change and her environmental responsibility drive could be defaulted when she visits New York this coming weekend.
Merkel has been rooting for years towards the reduction of global warming factors – including transportation pollution – has also been pressured by the need to safeguard her country’s automotive industry. And she now has to deal with the ensuing scandal of Volkswagen AG – Europe’s biggest automaker – cheating when it comes to emissions control testing procedures in the United States. The mishap is also growing as she prepares to travel to the United Nations in a bid to persuade world leaders to take binding steps during the coming global climate summit in Paris in December. Merkel, a former environment minister, has been a climate crusader for the past decade while she served as chancellor – managing to jump ahead of other European states looking to lower carbon emissions by 40 percent from the level seen in 1990 by the turn of the next decade.
Meanwhile her stride has often been pressured by the nation’s thriving auto industry, lobbying on their behalf just two years ago as the stricter EU carbon emissions regulations were blocked. Luxury brands such as Mercedes, BMW, Porsche or Audi are based in Germany and Merkel herself has acknowledged that one in seven jobs in the country is somehow dependant on the automotive industry, with exports being represented by cars by 20 percent. “I believe those that produce the least emissions in autos will also be those who have the greatest success worldwide,” Merkel commented in a speech during the Frankfurt motor show last week just prior to the reveal that VW violated environmental laws in the US.