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Germany's Altmaier seeks to convince Poland on CO2
* France also says ready to talk to Poland
* Poland dismisses idea of deeper carbon cuts
* German position on energy saving unclear
By Barbara Lewis
LUXEMBOURG, June 11 (Reuters) - Germany will keep talking with Poland to try to forge a compromise over its refusal to endorse more ambitious carbon-cutting targets, German Environment Minister Peter Altmaier said on Monday.
A meeting of EU environment ministers in Luxembourg touched on the issue of a low carbon road map but, as expected, failed to make progress.
In March, coal-reliant Poland opposed the other 26 EU member states by refusing to sign up to even vague wording to deepen carbon cuts beyond the EU's 2020 binding target of a 20 percent reduction.
Altmaier, who took office in May, faces the challenge of Germany's "Energiewende" - the transformation of its energy sector following its decision to withdraw from nuclear power.
To encourage investment in renewables, Germany needs signals to investors such as a stronger carbon price and a promise of deeper emissions cuts.
Altmaier said he had asked for a road map debate on Monday because it was necessary to keep the discussion alive.
"It was our request to the Danish presidency to put the road map on the agenda. It was clear from the beginning there could not be a definitive agreement today," Altmaier told Reuters. "We consider it important to keep the pressure up."
Previous discussion of bigger carbon cuts has been tense, with Poland objecting that they could damage its economy.
Altmaier said he would continue bilateral talks with Poland to try to achieve a compromise based on "a good personal relationship", but he declined to disclose details.
France's newly appointed Ecology and Energy Minister Nicole Bricq told reporters she too had been asked to take part in talks to win Poland over.
EU ministers have also been deadlocked over an Energy Efficiency Directive, which enters the final stages of negotiation this week.
The Danish EU presidency, with backing from the Commission, has made a deal on energy efficiency a priority for its six months at the head of EU debate, which expires at the end of June.
Martin Lidegaard, Denmark's energy minister, said there had been progress but it was not yet certain Denmark could seal a deal.
Part of the difficulty has been reluctance by Germany to come up with a clear position.
Altmaier said the responsibility was not entirely his.
"The competency is divided between two ministries," he said, referring to the German economy ministry's responsibility for the Energy Efficiency Directive.
"I am quite optimistic on the final result. I trust the Danish presidency's commitment to achieve an acceptable compromise."
Altmaier refused to be drawn on specifics.
"We will reconsider our targets and our goals with a view to enhancing the chances for success. This includes an enormous effort with regard to energy efficiency," he said.
Polish Environment Minister Marcin Korolec was dismissive of any progress towards deeper carbon cuts.
"During the lunch this point was discussed for probably a minute," he was quoted as saying by the Polish press agency PAP.
"Even the timespan of the comments suggests how seriously it was treated by all ministers," Korolec said. (Additional reporting by Maciej Onoszko in Warsaw, editing by Jane Baird)
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