John Kerry, President Biden’s special envoy on climate change, said he expected new financial commitments to fulfill a long-delayed promise to provide $100 billion a year in aid for developing countries to fight and adapt to global warming.
The latest diplomatic effort, led by Germany and Canada, aims to pull together that amount from wealthier donor countries by 2023 — three years behind the timetable set in 2015 under the Paris Agreement.
“I believe today, hopefully, that will be augmented,” Mr. Kerry said on the sidelines of a meeting of a group of countries known as the High Ambition Coalition, at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
Mr. Kerry announced Tuesday that the United States has joined this coalition. That’s important because that bloc has historically pushed for the toughest targets at international climate talks and was instrumental in clinching the final deal on the Paris Agreement. The United States had dropped from the coalition when Mr. Biden’s predecessor, Donald J. Trump, withdrew from the Paris accord.
The High Ambition Coalition issued a statement warning that the world is far from reaching its goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. This is in stark contrast to the start of our industrial age. That’s the temperature threshold beyond which the most severe climate impacts become significantly more likely.
The group said its countries “note with deep concern the gap between existing commitments and a 1.5°C pathway, stress the urgent need to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in this decisive decade, and recognize the importance of ambitious action” by the 20 nations with the world’s biggest economies, known as the Group of 20, which are also the world’s 20 biggest polluters.
Even if all countries follow their climate plans, the global average temperature would not rise more than 1.5 degrees. This would increase the likelihood of intense heat waves, fires, and floods.
The statement calls on countries to submit more ambitious climate targets in order to collectively reach the target and halt what they called “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies “as soon as possible,” and signaled the need to “increase resources” for addressing loss and damage from climate impacts.
Mr. Kerry expressed optimism that private banks would mobilise greater amounts of money to help countries shift away from fossil-fuels.
“$100 billion doesn’t do it,” he said. “The only way we ‘re going to get it done is if trillions of dollars are forthcoming, and they are.”