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President Biden speaks as climate envoy John Kerry listens

President Joe Biden delivers remarks as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and former Secretary of State John Kerry listens during day 2 of the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate at the East Room of the White House April 23, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images)

'Huge News': Biden Brings US Back Into 'High Ambition Coalition' at COP26

The development came as the coalition stressed a "need to halve global emissions by 2030."

Andrea Germanos

The United States on Tuesday rejoined an alliance of countries pushing for ambitious climate action including limiting Earth's warming to 1.5°C. 

The development was first reported by The Guardian.

According to Wesley Morgan, whose research work covers the climate crisis' impacts on the Pacific Islands, the Biden administration's move to bring the U.S. back to the High Ambition Coalition is "huge news" for the ongoing COP26 climate negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland.

In a Twitter thread, Morgan wrote that "the High Ambition Coalition may again prove crucial for delivering on expectations of many the world over" and called COP26 "a crucial moment for setting the world on a path to avoid climate catastrophe. Ultimately it really is a struggle for survival, for all of us."

The formation of the coalition in 2015 in the leadup to the Paris climate talks was led by then-Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Tony De Brum. The group's numbers grew to over 100 developing and developed nations, including the U.S under the Obama administration, and it was credited with raising the ambition of the Paris agreement including the inclusion of the 1.5°C warming threshold.

According to the Guardian's reporting Tuesday, "One negotiator said fears that the 1.5C target was in danger of slipping out of reach had prompted the group's resurgence."

In a statement Tuesday, the coalition stressed a "need to halve global emissions by 2030" and pushed for nations to commit to greater action at the Glasgow summit including for "parties that have yet to do so to deliver more ambitious NDCs in line with a 1.5°C trajectory as soon as possible, and well ahead of COP27," which is set to take place next November.

Additional demands were detailed, including for rich nations to deliver on their pledged but not yet materialized $100 billion annually to 2025 in climate finance and for governments to end "inefficient fossil fuel subsidies as soon as possible."

The statement further calls on nations to "halt investment in new unabated coal-fired power plants"; "phase out unabated coal-fired power plants in line with the requirements for a 1.5°C trajectory"; and "halt public support for all overseas unabated coal projects in the energy sector."


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