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US, Japan Pledge $4.5bn to Green Climate Fund

The US and Japan pledged a total of $4.5 billion to the Green Climate Fund over the weekend, with $3 billion from the US and $1.5 billion from Japan to help poor nations curb greenhouse gas emissions and limit climate change.

With Japan’s commitment, announced yesterday at the G-20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia, the UN fund has received pledges from 13 nations totaling $7.5 billion.

Héla Cheikhrouhou, executive director of the Green Climate Fund, called the $3 billion US pledge, announced by President Obama on the eve of the summit “game changing,” and said he hopes it will encourage other nations to make contributions to the fund.

The UN has set an informal target of raising $10 billion this year, Reuters reports.

Additional nations are expected to announce contributions in the days leading up to the formal Green Climate Fund pledging conference in Berlin on Nov. 20.

The next round of climate talks will start Dec. 1 in Lima, Peru.

The US and Japan pledges “bring us a giant step closer to reaching a global climate agreement in Paris” next year, according to Athena Ballesteros, finance center director, World Resources Institute, who called on other countries including Canada and Australia to “do their part.”

The US pledge follows landmark US-China climate change goals announced last week, with President Obama pledging to cut US greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Chinese president Xi Jinping announced targets to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 or sooner and to increase China’s non-fossil fuel share of energy to around 20 percent by 2030.

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