Six days before the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday addressed a joint meeting of Congress, and charged U.S. lawmakers to tear down other walls.
“Today’s generation needs to prove that it can meet the challenges of the 21st century. In a sense, we are able to tear down walls of today,” she said.
What that means, Merkel said, is “creating freedom and security, creating prosperity and justice. And it means protecting our planet.”
Merkel, the first German chancellor to address a joint meeting ofCongress, emphasized the need for an agreement on global warming.
“Icebergs are melting in the Arctic. In Africa, people become refugees because their environment has been destroyed,” she said.
“We need an agreement on one objective: Global warming must not exceed 2 degrees Celsius.”
She said she hopes that agreement will be reached at a the climate conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, next month.
Merkel also touched on the global financial crisis, saying that the “near collapse of the markets has shown what happens when there is no underpinning order.”
“A globalized economy needs a global order … a global framework of rules,” she said. “Without global rules and transparency and supervision, we will not gain more freedom, but rather risk the abuse of freedom and thus risk instability.”