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Cop27 is where the rubber hits the road.

That was the message from US climate envoy John Kerry on Wednesday as he called on all countries to “step up” climate commitments to avert worsening disasters.

Mr Kerry spoke to reporters in a briefing ahead of the United Nations international climate summit which begins in a little over a week in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

“Cop27 we view as implementation Cop,” he said. “And the purpose of it is to make sure the promises that were made in Glasgow are actually being pursued at the pace they need to be pursued.”

The former US secretary of state also called on “the folks who didn’t step up in Glasgow” to come forward with more ambitious emissions-reduction targets, known as “Nationally Determined Contributions” (NDCs), as was required by the Cop26 agreement.

It is critical that these commitements are made, Mr Kerry said, as scientific evidence shows that it’s “imperative” Earth’s temperature rise is curbed at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“If we don’t do that we will bring much greater destruction on ourselves, on the planet. Much more inhospitable, even unlivable, conditions,” he said.

Mr Kerry also said that the US is committed to engaging “in a serious dialogue about how the world is going to deal with loss and damage” – a demand that will be front and center at Cop27 as poorer countries, bearing the brunt of impacts, call on the richer nations largely responsible for climate change to pay up.

The recent devastating monsoons in Pakistan, made more severe by global heating, have led to flooding which has left around one-third of the country underwater, killed more than 1,000 people and caused an estimated $40bn in damage. Pakistan’s leaders have called for global financial assistance to cope with climate damage .

Experts say Pakistan historically has contributed just 0.4 per cent of the fossil fuel pollution responsible for climate damage, compared to 21.5 per cent for the US, 16.5 per cent for China and 15 per cent for the European Union.

Mr Kerry underlined that “loss and damage” was written into the 2015 global Paris Agreement and said it was on the table for the Egypt summit.

“In Glasgow we reaffirmed that and we have always said that it is imperative for the developed world to help the developing world to deal with the impacts of climate,” Mr Kerry said.

He continued: “And we are prepared to discuss in Sharm el-Sheikh fully all the ways in which we can try to be fair, and gather the efforts of the world to help us address the concerns of a lot of countries. We’re very supportive of addressing loss and damage in the context of the Cops.”

But at the Council on Foreign Relations on Tuesday, Mr Kerry said that the idea of the US or any other country coming up with a trillion dollars for the issue is a nonstarter, politically and otherwise.

Any move that threatens to put richer nations on the hook for legal liability is “going to be a problem for everybody, not just for us,” Kerry said. “So how do you do this in a way that actually produces money, gets a system in place? We’re totally in favor of that.

“We are working toward it, and we will in Sharm,” he said. “We will not be, you know, obstructing.”

With additional AP reporting

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