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Feted as Germany's "climate chancellor," Angela Merkel won international plaudits for her efforts to tackle global warming, but as she prepares to leave office, critics say domestic emissions cuts stagnated under her 16-year watch.

Merkel's conservatives were narrowly defeated in Sunday's election while the Greens emerged in a kingmaker role, suggesting climate issues will have an even higher profile in German politics over the years ahead, political analysts said.

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