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14 Nov 2022

Matt McGrath, BBC News

COP27: Fears of compromise on key 1.5C global temperature issue

"COP27: Fears of compromise on key 1.5C global temperature issue", 14 November 2022

Climate change talks have been trying to limit the average rise in temperatures to 1.5C...Senior figures here in Egypt are worried about backsliding on efforts to keep the 1.5C goal.

There is a sense the Egyptian presidency is struggling to find common ground between rich and poor, and some delegates fear the focus on 1.5C may be softened to find agreement. The limit is important because climate scientists say temperature rises must slow down if we want to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. They say global warming needs to be kept to 1.5C by 2100.

Ministers and their negotiators face an intensive week of talks in Sharm El-Sheikh as pressure grows to conclude this meeting with a strong political message. According to the UN's climate chief, not enough progress has been made so far. "My observations are that there are too many unresolved issues,"...

One of the big concerns though is that as the organisers struggle to find a way forward, a clear statement on the commitment to 1.5C figure might be fudged. In last year's Glasgow climate pact, all countries agreed to "keep 1.5C alive" by undertaking "rapid, deep and sustained" cuts in greenhouse gases. But at a G20 meeting in Indonesia in August, ministers were unable to agree a communique on climate change, as China and India were reported to have questioned the scientific feasibility of the 1.5C threshold.

Such are the differences between countries here, there are fears that the final document being drafted by the Egyptians may dilute or exclude the 1.5C goal...

Concerns over 1.5C have also prompted an unusually strong statement from the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group within the talks. Representing the 46 countries that are most vulnerable to the impacts of rising temperatures, they are resolutely opposed to any watering down of this key commitment. "COP27 must send a strong political signal and show that the world is united on fighting climate change," said Madeleine Diouf Sarr, from Senegal, the chair of the LDC. "This means that at COP27, the 1.5C goal must remain within reach by having strong commitments to halving emissions by 2030."...