According to U.S. Special Climate Envoy John Kerry, some nations have objected to the mention of a global goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in the text of the COP27 summit in Egypt.
“You are 100 percent correct. Very few nations, but a few, have brought up the matter of omitting this word or that word, “When questioned about some governments’ objections to bringing up the 1.5C target, Kerry responded.
“However, the language is present in Glasgow, where it was adopted. And I am aware that Egypt does not aim to organize a retreat from what was accomplished in Glasgow “Kerry mentioned the COP conference in Scotland from the previous year.
The Paris Agreement, which was signed in 2015 during a U.N. summit in France, was hailed as a breakthrough in international climate ambition. It committed countries from across the world to attempting to keep the average global temperature increase to 1.5C.
Greenhouse gas emissions have been rising ever since, however, and scientists say the world risks missing the target without swift and deep cuts. Breaching the 1.5C threshold risks unleashing the worst consequences of global warming.
Already, the world has warmed more than 1.1C from the preindustrial average temperature – fueling extreme weather that is already delivering steep economic losses.
Many developing countries have demanded the establishment of a “loss and damage” fund that could disperse cash to countries struggling to recover from disasters.
Kerry said the United States would not support establishing such a fund, and instead believed existing platforms should be used.
“It’s a well known fact that the United States and many other countries will not establish … some sort of legal structure that is tied to compensation or liability. That’s just not happening,” he said.
“We will find a way, I am confident, to be able to have financial arrangements that reflect the reality of how we are all going to deal with the climate crisis.”
Democratic lawmakers spent the last few days at the summit trying to bolster the U.S. commitment to its climate goals, and reassure countries that Washington will deliver on promises pledged at previous climate summits.
They touted the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in Congress, which unleashed over $300 billion in climate-related domestic spending.
They said that they would work to get legislation passed that would enable Biden to follow through on his offer of $11.4 billion in climate finance made at the Glasgow climate conference last year.
In a Congress that is politically divided, that effort could be challenging.
Republicans are represented at the conference by Congressman John Curtis (R-Utah), who told Reuters that he was against climate aid.
He remarked, “The US signing a cheque won’t fix things.”
He declared his support for legislation that would increase natural gas production, access, and the creation of new clean energy technology.