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Business

Cut CO2 Emissions, Minister Tells Industry

German industry is not maintaining its commitment to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, according to Germany's Environmental Minister Jürgen Trittin. New figures show CO2 emissions continue to rise, increasing by six millions tons between 2000 and 2002. Industry leaders had promised to reduce emissions by 20 million tons by 2005 and 45 million tons by 2010, but the latest figures show they are going backwards, not forward. Trittin said this was an "alarming development" and may partly explain why heads of industry declined invitations to attend the ninth round of talks -- scheduled for Friday night -- aimed at reducing emissions. "Those who attend eight times in a row and are suddenly absent give the impression that they are trying to avoid tough questions," the minister said. The battle between Trittin and German industry escalated on Thursday, when the Federation of German Industries (BDI) announced it would not continue negotiations until the Environmental Ministry had completed a draft proposal regulating the trading of emission rights.