Leaders of the world’s 20 largest countries in Bali sent a clear signal to negotiators in Sharm el-Sheikh on Wednesday, with a statement reaffirming the need to limit global temperature increases to 1.5°C (2.7°F) above pre-industrial levels. That goal, established in the Paris Agreement in 2015, appears to be under threat as some nations are resisting efforts to reaffirm it in the official COP27 final agreement. While every bit of warming worsens the impacts of climate change, scientists say 1.5°C represents a point above which the already-catastrophic impacts will get substantially worse.
“Every increase of a tiny fraction of a degree is harmful,” former Irish president Mary Robinson told the New York Times. “We have to claw to prevent going above 1.5.” The draft agreement also does not call for a phase down of all fossil fuels. (G20: E&E News, Reuters, Axios, The Hill, FT $, Reuters; Importance of 1.5°C: New York Times $; COP27 draft: Reuters, The Guardian, Reuters)