US rejoins coalition to achieve 1.5C goal at UN climate talks

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    US rejoins coalition to achieve 1.5C goal at UN climate talks

    Climate crisis

    US rejoins coalition to achieve 1.5C goal at UN climate talks

    Exclusive: Boost for attempts to focus Glasgow Cop26 summit on limiting temperature rise

    Firefighters watch as flames tower over their truck during the Bear fire in Oroville, California.
    05:18

    “These heads of state have given their marching orders for ambition.”

    One negotiator said fears that the 1.5C target was in danger of slipping out of reach had prompted the group’s resurgence. “We are extremely concerned about 1.5C,” they said. “That’s why we are calling for a way to keep 1.5C as a viable option.”

    The High Ambition Coalition was formed in the run-up to Paris by the chief negotiator for the Marshall Islands, Tony de Brum. Though the tiny Pacific island state, made up of 29 atolls, has a population of only 60,000, the charismatic De Brum had a major influence at climate Cops.

    The goal of holding temperature rises to 1.5C rather than 2C is much harder to achieve, as it requires emissions cuts of at least 45% by 2030, compared with 2010 levels. But science shows it is much safer – beyond 1.5C, many of the impacts of climate breakdown, such as melting ice sheets, become irreversible, and many small islands would face inundation from rising sea levels and storm surges.

    De Brum spent months taking soundings from developed and developing countries, and in the closing days, when it appeared that the 1.5C could be in danger, the coalition was announced.

    John Kerry, the US climate envoy, said earlier this year that the Paris goal of “pursuing efforts” to 1.5C was “based on hard work by the High Ambition Coalition and the small island developing states. They felt it that it was imperative – and thank heavens they did. Science has now caught up to that fact, the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] and IEA [International Energy Agency] and others have been pretty clear, that this is what we need to try to achieve.”

    De Brum died in 2017. Stege is his niece.

    Topics

    • Climate crisis
    • Cop26
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    Published at Tue, 02 Nov 2021 08:34:59 +0000

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/02/us-rejoins-coalition-to-achieve-15c-goal-at-un-climate-talks

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