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Then-French Foreign Affairs minister Laurent Fabius, right, greets then-Marshall Islands' Foreign Affairs minister Tony de Brum in his office during the Paris climate summit in December 2015. Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP via Getty Images

A coalition to watch at the upcoming Glasgow climate summit is made up of some of the most at-risk countries to climate change that don't traditionally wield much power on the global stage, along with some other nations, like Norway, which have ambitious climate targets.

Why it matters: The power of these countries' moral authority on climate change — their very existence is threatened by sea level rise — helped them play a vital role in securing the Paris Agreement in 2015.

  • During that summit, the Marshall Islands' climate negotiator, the late Tony de Brum, forged the "High Ambition Coalition" to push for nations to adopt the strict warming target of 1.5 °C (2.7°F).
  • That target could be crossed as soon as the early 2030s, according to a major climate science report published Monday.

Driving the news: The High Ambition Coalition has outlived de Brum, and members are considering the United Nations IPCC report's implications as they prep for the Glasgow talks.

  • One of the members is the small Caribbean island nation of Grenada.
  • Its top climate official, Simon Stiell, tells Axios he's looking to summon some of de Brum's will to force action in Glasgow.
  • Stiell sees the IPCC report as paving the way for progress.

The intrigue: The new assessment should quiet countries that have stood in the way of a strong climate agreement, Stiell said, including: "Those who either questioned the science, or who have tried to exploit any ambiguities" in the science.

  • "A key thing for us moving into Glasgow is ensuring that parties have nowhere to hide," he said.

What's next: According to Stiell, during the upcoming talks, there needs to be a broadening of the definition of ambition to include not just limiting the severity of warming, but also adaptation and finance.

Go deeper

What "success" means at the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The upcoming UN climate meeting in Glasgow, scheduled to begin in six weeks, may be one of the trickiest for diplomats to navigate since such meetings began more than two decades ago.

Why it matters: The summit comes as scientists warn that the window for keeping alive the Paris Agreement's most ambitious and longshot temperature target is nearly shut, yet emissions cuts are urgently needed to prevent potentially catastrophic climate impacts.

UN report: Effects of climate change even more severe than we thought

A wildfire burns in a forest over the village of Gouves, on the island of Evia, Greece, on Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021. (Konstantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Global warming is happening so fast that scientists now say we'll cross a crucial temperature threshold as early as 2030 — up to a decade sooner than previously thought — according to a sweeping new UN-sponsored review of climate science published Monday.

The big picture: Atmospheric CO2 concentrations were higher in 2019 than at any time in at least 2 million years, and the past 50 years saw the fastest temperature increases in at least 2,000 years, according to the new assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

UN climate summit faces serious roadblocks

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

When world leaders hold a climate summit in Glasgow in November, success will revolve around two issues that have sunk or slowed past negotiations:

  • How to help developing countries transition to clean energy and how to respond to "loss and damage" — the devastation caused by climate change.