Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, countries agreed to limit global warming to 'well below' two degrees Celsius.

The European Union on Saturday rejected as “unacceptable” a proposal from UN climate summit host Egypt for a deal at the COP27, a French official said, saying it was insufficiently ambitious on reducing carbon emissions.

“At this stage, the Egyptian presidency is calling into question gains made in Glasgow on emissions reduction,” the official from the French energy transition ministry told AFP, referring to the outcome of last year’s COP26. 

“This is unacceptable for France and for European Union countries.”

Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, countries agreed to limit global warming to “well below” two degrees Celsius compared to the late 19th century. 

They also signed on to an aspirational goal of capping the rise in temperature to 1.5C, which scientists subsequently confirmed was a far safer guardrail against catastrophic climate impacts.

This more ambitious 1.5C target was embraced last year in Glasgow, with countries agreeing to annually review their carbon reduction goals.

“The problem is that the Egyptian presidency is trying to push through a text that removes the obligation of countries to regularly strengthen their national targets in order to meet the 1.5C goal,” the French official said.

European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans, who is leading the EU delegation at COP27, said the talks were “in overtime”.

“The EU is united in our ambition to move forward and build on what we agreed in Glasgow,” he wrote on Twitter. “Our message to partners is clear: we cannot accept that 1.5C dies here and today.”

The two-week talks in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh have bogged down over a number of intertwined issues, including how – and how quickly – to funnel money to vulnerable developing countries already slammed by climate-enhanced storms, droughts, heatwaves and floods.