At the Cop26 conference, Barack Obama supports the drive for a strict 1.5°C target.

Developing nations pressing for a climate agreement that limits global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius have received a boost when Barack Obama signaled his support.

“Science has made it apparent,” the former US president added. The hazards of a warming climate are bigger than we previously imagined.” Obama told a secret meeting of High Ambition Coalition ministers, “What you are doing what the HAC is seeking to do is critical.”

He continued, “The merciless tempests of the changing climate are making it further evident that we cross that line at our peril,” referring to the coalition’s involvement at the 2015 Cop summit in ensuring the 1.5C target was incorporated into the Paris accord. It is once again up to the High Ambition Coalition to make that argument.

“You have come together once more to speak not just to the need to get to 1.5 degrees Celsius, but also to offer the adaptation financing that is required for people who may end up paying the highest price for acts they did not do.”

On Monday, the HAC issued a draft statement expressing “grave concern” about the gap between existing promises on greenhouse gas emissions agreed at Cop26 and the even greater cuts required to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The nations are requesting that the parties to the Paris accord return to the negotiation table on an annual basis until commitments are in line with the 1.5C objective, and that all countries submit nationally decided contributions in line with that aim by next year.