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Schroeder calls energy conference in Germany

Schroeder calls energy conference in Germany
JOHANNESBURG - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder told delegates at the Earth Summit yesterday Germany was ready to host an international conference on renewable energy. \"I will send out invitations to an international conference on renewable energy in Germany.
We want to supplement what we achieved at the end of last year at the Bonn water conference in the field of energy,\" he said in a speech to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. He gave no further details of the meeting. Germany organised an international fresh water conference in Bonn last December, where delegates reiterated pledges to provide adequate supplies of drinking water worldwide. Schroeder referred to last month\'s dramatic flooding in Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria and China. The floods, which killed dozens in Europe and hundreds in China, were blamed by some on global warming caused by burning fossil fuels. \"Climate change is no longer a sceptical prognosis, but a bitter reality. This challenge demands decisive action from us,\" Schroeder said. He said the Earth Summit should pressure states to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate as quickly as possible so that it can come into force this year. He also appealed to nations such as the United States, Canada and Australia to make some contribution to climate improvement. \"For those industrialised countries that have not signed up, I appeal to them at least to contribute to an equivalent reduction of greenhouse gases,\" Schroeder said. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol required developed countries to reduce their emissions of \"greenhouse gases\" such as carbon dioxide blamed for trapping heat in the atmosphere. REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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