Green Climate Fund: Wealthy countries pledge cash in Berlin

Green Climate Fund
Members of the Green Climate Fund during the meeting in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in Berlin, Germany, 20 November 2014. Photograph: Rainer Jensen/Rainer Jensen/dpa/Corbis

BERLIN–Thirty nations meeting in Berlin have pledged $9.3bn (£6bn) to a U.N. Fund to help developing countries cut emissions and prepare for climate change. The Green Climate Fund was to have held at least $10bn by the end of 2014, so the pledge is just shy of the target.

The U.N. Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a major part of a plan agreed in 2009 whereby rich countries agreed to give $100 billion a year from both public and private sources from 2020 to help developing nations reduce carbon emissions and adapt to a changing global climate.

“I think everyone had hoped there would be more,” the World Bank’s President Jim Yong Kim said, noting however that he was “very encouraged” by the pledges.

Canada pledged $300 million on Thursday to help poor countries adapt to climate change and to help them lower their greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. already announced it would give $3 billion this year and Japan pledged $1.5 billion.

The pledges are seen as vital to pave the way for a U.N. climate deal meant to be agreed in late 2015 in Paris. That deal will aim to limit a rise in average global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times. Temperatures have already risen by about 0.9 C and are in part to blame for disasters such as heatwaves, mudslides and rising sea levels, scientists say.

The U.S. and China, two of the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gasses, reached a climate deal last week.

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US President Obama agreed a deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping to limit both countries’ emissions

China recognized that it needs to scale back its emissions, while the U.S. said it would cut its emissions by more than a quarter by 2025.

“This is a very important historic day,” GCF’s Executive Director, Hela Cheikhrouhou, said, describing the conference as “very fruitful”.

Sources: BBC News, Reuters, Toronto Sun, The Guardian

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