On January 27, 2022, the United States convened a ministerial meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF), chaired by Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. The Forum provided an opportunity for Ministers to reflect on the outcomes of COP26 in Glasgow; set out priorities for COP27 and 2022 more broadly; identify their plans for implementing/enhancing climate action; and explore possible concrete initiatives on which MEF countries might work together to accelerate climate action.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken opened the meeting by noting that Glasgow achieved significant progress and, importantly, that COP26 was not an endpoint but a starting point for accelerated climate action in this critical decade. Moving forward, Secretary Blinken urged an “implementation plus” approach, calling on countries and other actors to implement the goals/commitments they have undertaken, and to pursue significant further efforts to keep within reach a 1.5-degree C limit on temperature rise.
Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Kerry was joined at the virtual, closed-door gathering by Ministers and other senior officials from MEF and other G20 countries, as well as from other countries bringing critical perspectives, including: Antigua and Barbuda (as Alliance of Small Island States Chair), Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh (as Climate Vulnerable Forum Chair), Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt (as incoming COP27 President), the European Commission, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Marshall Islands (as the High Ambition Coalition Chair), Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal (as Least Developed Countries Group Chair), Turkey, and the United Kingdom. Senior representatives of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat and the U.N. Secretary-General also participated.
The agenda centered on the MEF’s twin objectives of 1) facilitating closer high-level alignment on core political issues, and 2) providing a platform for concrete, collective actions. The meeting served in part to the set the stage for a future MEF leaders meeting.
Participants underscored the urgency of building on the progress made at COP26 and the importance of countries following through on the next steps identified in Glasgow across a range of issues, including the call to Parties to revisit and strengthen the 2030 targets in their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) this year as needed to align with the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement. Participants began the discussion of potential avenues for concrete, collective action in areas such as methane, zero-carbon power, electric vehicles, and deforestation.