Chancellor Angela Merkel used her New Year’s message to warn of the dangers of global warming and declare that Germany must spare no effort to tackle them.
“Global warming is real. It is threatening,” Merkel said in the pre-recorded speech, to be broadcast Tuesday evening. “We have to do everything humanly possible to overcome this challenge for humanity. This is still possible.”
She added: “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. 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.”
Merkel also addressed the challenges posed by an increasingly digital future and called on Germans to embrace new thinking.
“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,” the chancellor said.
And on an optimistic note, Merkel said: “The twenties 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.”