Climate change poses an existential threat to people and our planet. It is already threatening lives and livelihoods as families and communities are being displaced by natural disasters and water scarcity. Recognizing the urgency of addressing the climate crisis, we have engaged in a whole-of-government effort to mitigate the output of dangerous greenhouse gases, to increase other nations’ climate ambitions, and to strengthen the United States’ and the world’s capacity to adapt to the planet’s changing environment.
At this year’s COP, the United States is working with our host, Egypt, and countries around the world to advance climate ambition. We left Glasgow last year having kept alive the goal of limiting the earth temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and we secured significant commitments to reduce emissions and enhance resilience, including substantial new efforts to mobilize climate finance.
At COP27, the United States is building on those outcomes to show we are on track to meet our ambitious target. At home, Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act—the single most consequential piece of climate legislation in U.S. history. The IRA puts the United States on track to achieve President Biden’s ambitious target to cut U.S. emissions by 50-52 percent below 2005 levels in 2030 and demonstrates that we will deliver on our climate commitments for years to come.
The United States also ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, joining 139 other nations committed to reducing the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons. Global implementation of this amendment could avoid as much as half a degree Celsius of warming by the end of the century.
We also have made massive commitments to helping the world adapt to climate change through the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE), which will help more than half a billion people in developing countries adapt to and manage a changing climate this decade. We are working with partners to get early warning and climate information into people’s hands so that they can become more resilient. We are helping countries and communities “climate proof” their infrastructure and their water, health, and food systems. And we are helping people access public and private finance to support these efforts.
The United States is focused on making COP27 responsive to the priorities and needs of the African continent. Seventeen of the world’s 20 most climate-vulnerable countries are in Africa. That is why I joined President Biden today, in Sharm El-Sheikh, to announce further , which include doubling our multi-year commitment to the Adaptation Fund, increased investments in early-warning systems, improved access to disaster risk insurance for countries and farmers, and support for African-led capacity development programs to manage climate risks.
These actions demonstrate our commitment to proactive solutions. But the climate crisis cannot be resolved by efforts of the United States alone. We need every nation to implement its current climate commitments and enhance those commitments that are insufficient to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. We cannot fail in this task. Our children and grandchildren are depending on us.