US pledges $3 billion for climate aid to poor countries at COP28

Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg News |

The U.S. will pledge $3 billion toward a United Nations fund meant to help developing countries slash greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change — an effort that could help rebuild trust in rich nations’ promises of aid amid pivotal climate talks in Dubai.

The pledge of support for the Green Climate Fund, described by State Department officials ahead of a planned speech by Vice President Kamala Harris at the COP28 summit Saturday, would come on top of $9.3 billion in new commitments already announced by the U.K., France, Germany, Japan and other nations. This is the second round of replenishment for the fund, and the U.S. promise would bring it to its highest level yet.

The Biden administration’s commitment follows a steady increase in the grants, loans and other finance the U.S. has directed toward climate change in recent years as it seeks to rebound from the presidency of Donald Trump, who pulled the nation out of the Paris Agreement and canceled funding for major global warming initiatives.

The pledge is seen as helping to shore up U.S. credibility at the start of the two-week COP28. During negotiations at recent COPs, the limits of finance — and the long-running failure of wealthy countries to provide it — have fostered deep mistrust and tension. The rich world was supposed to provide $100 billion a year in climate finance for emerging economies starting in 2020, a milestone it appears to have reached two years late.

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