Technology & Science

Global climate change fund reaches about $10B US despite Trump withholding $2B

Governments have pledged nearly $10 billion US toward an international fund meant to help poor nations tackle climate change, France's finance minister said Friday.

The Green Climate Fund helps developing countries reduce their emissions

The Green Climate Fund aims to help developing nations reduce emissions and cope with a changing climate. That includes Kenya, where farmers are suffering from recurring and increasingly prolonged droughts caused by climate change. (Luis Tato / AFP via Getty Images)

Governments have pledged nearly $10 billion US toward an international fund meant to help poor nations tackle climate change, France's finance minister said Friday.

Bruno Le Maire, speaking at a conference in Paris, said "it's a great success" and attributed it largely to European countries, noting almost half of the amount is being provided by France, Germany and Great Britain alone.

"Many countries will double their contributions and bring twice more than what they had given at the creation of the fund," Le Maire said.

The South Korea-based Green Climate Fund, which provides money to help developing countries reduce their emissions and cope with the impacts of climate change, says it has nearly exhausted some $7 billion received following an initial funding round five years ago.

The fund's executive director, Yannick Glemarec, said the amount was nothing short of historic, though environmental and development groups such as Oxfam had hoped the pledging conference in Paris would raise as much as $15 billion.

U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to withhold $2 billion of the $3 billion pledged by his predecessor, Barack Obama, has contributed to a shortfall at the fund that other countries have struggled to fill.

French Treasury head Odile Renaud-Basso said a number of donor countries, including Britain, France and Germany, had doubled their latest pledges, helping make up for a loss of funds from the U.S.

"Now, what is at stake is making these pledges concrete so the fund can work efficiently and disburse [the money]," Renaud-Basso told journalists after the conference.

The meeting in Paris took place a little over a month before the UN's annual climate conference, which will be held later this year in the Chilean capital of Santiago.

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