US Department of State
Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken
11 November 2022
Climate change poses an existential threat to humans and the planet and is already threatening people and their livelihoods, as natural disasters and water scarcity displace families and communities. Recognizing the urgent need to address the climate crisis, we have engaged in a full-fledged government effort to mitigate emissions of dangerous greenhouse gases, increase other nations’ climate ambitions, and strengthen the ability of the United States and the world to adapt to the changing planet’s environment.
At this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference, the United States is working with host country Egypt and countries around the world to advance climate ambition. We left Glasgow last year having maintained our global warming target of 1.5°C and secured important commitments to reduce emissions and enhance resilience, including a significant new effort to mobilize climate finance.
At COP27, the United States is building on these results to show that we are on the right track toward achieving our ambitious goal. The US Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act, the single and most important climate legislation in US history. The Inflation Control Act puts the United States on track toward achieving President Biden’s ambitious goal of cutting US emissions 50 to 52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and demonstrates that we will meet our climate commitments for years to come.
The United States ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, joining another 139 countries committed to reducing HFC consumption and production. Global implementation of this adjustment could avoid up to half a degree Celsius of warming by the end of the century.
We have also made enormous commitments to help the world adapt to climate change through the Presidential Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience, which will help more than half a billion people in developing countries adapt to and manage a changing climate this decade. We work with partners to make early warning and climate information available to make people more resilient. We help countries and communities make their infrastructure, water, health, and food systems “climate resilient,” and we help people access public and private funding to support these efforts.
The United States is focused on making COP27 responsive to the priorities and needs of the African continent. 17 of the more than 20 climate-vulnerable countries are in Africa, which is why I joined with President Biden in Sharm el-Sheikh today to announce more US investment in climate adaptation in Africa, including by doubling our multi-year commitment to the IMF Adapt, increase investments in early warning systems, improve access to disaster risk insurance for countries and farmers, and support African-led capacity development programs to manage climate risks.
These actions demonstrate our commitment to proactive solutions, but the climate crisis cannot be resolved with US efforts alone. We need every country to implement their existing climate commitments and reinforce those inadequate commitments to avoid the worst effects of climate change. We cannot fail in this task, our children and grandchildren depend on us.