Hoping to gain the high ground on climate change, the German government announced new steps yesterday that are aimed at making sure the country fulfills its pledge to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 21 percent from 1990 levels by 2010, as agreed to in the Kyoto climate change treaty. Measures passed yesterday include support for the development of clean energy and efficient cars, a nationwide plan to renovate old buildings with better heating and insulation systems, and the setting of voluntary targets for emissions reductions by German industry. Britain is also on course to meet its Kyoto commitments, though a study released on Tuesday predicted that the 15-member European Union as a whole is likely to miss its Kyoto target for cutting carbon dioxide emissions. An international negotiating meeting on implementation of the Kyoto Protocol will take place next month in The Hague, Netherlands.

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