The eight European Union member states have signed a letter urging the bloc to get tougher on climate action. Germany, however, was not among them, with one EU climate expert calling the absence “conspicuous.” Eight European Union countries Tuesday called on the bloc to up the ante on its carbon dioxide reduction target, but Germany was not one of them. Environment ministers from France, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Latvia and Luxembourg all signed a letter to the EU’s top climate official candidate, Frans Timmermans, calling on him to increase the objective to reduce emissions from 40% to 55% by 2030. The letter urges the EU to get tougher on climate action “to underpin the European Green Deal to drive the in-depth transformation and bold measures needed across all sectors of the economy.” However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who previously indicated her support for the new objective, is facing stiff opposition from government ministries in Berlin to join the pact. In at the deep end Timmermans, candidate for the role of vice president for the European Green Deal, will appear on Tuesday in the European Parliament as part of his confirmation hearing, ahead of joining incoming European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s executive team. Read more: ‘Extinction Rebellion’ ups the ante in protests against climate change While there is broad, if not unanimous support for reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, there is a distinct lack of harmony in the EU over how to arrive at that target. In 2018, the majority of member states agreed on a 40% reduction, a goal that eight countries now feel is not enough. EU climate policy adviser for Greenpeace, Sebastian Mang, was unequivocal in his criticism of Germany’s stance, describing Berlin’s absence from the letter as “conspicuous.” “Last week, [people] all over the country went to the streets and demanded climate protection,” he said. Mang argued that Merkel’s government was pandering to big businesses and German carmakers. On Monday, Merkel’s chief of staff, Helge Braun, indicated Germany was doing enough to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions. jsi/dr (dpa, Reuters) DW

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The pilot escaped via the ejection seat and is being treated for minor injuries at a nearby hospital. The US Air Force confirmed it was one of its F-16 fighter jets.

The plane crashed into a forested area outside the southwestern city of Trier near the Luxembourg border, with the pilot ejecting to safety.

The US Air Force confirmed that the plane is one of its F-16 fighter jets stationed at the US air base in Spangdahlem in Rhineland-Palatinate.

The cause of the crash is as yet unclear. The pilot was engaged in a routine training flight.

Authorities said the pilot was transported to a nearby hospital, but described the injuries as “minor.”

Airplane fuel leaked

A large amount of jet fuel is said to have spilled out at the site of the crash and a search is underway to retrieve parts of the jet in the woodland near to Zemmer, a small town between Spangdahlem and Trier.

Immediately following the incident many roads were blocked off, aided by military police and the local fire service before officials from the US air base “took over,” said the fire service.

There is no danger from the destroyed F-16.

The Air Force reports that a board of officers will investigate the cause of the accident.

At least 24 F-16 fighter jets and around 4,000 US troops are stationed at the Spangdahlem air base.

Commenting on the incident Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Ostrom said “We are happy that the pilot is okay.”

Edgar Schmitt, the mayor of Zemmer expressed relief that the aircraft had not crashed in the town.

Second crash in months

This is the second instance of an accident involving military planes in Germany in recent months. In June, two German military jets collided during a flying mission in the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

One pilot escaped via the plane’s ejection seat while the other was killed in the June crash.

DW

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