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Biden says US will quadruple climate aid to poor countries


“We also need to support the countries of the people who will be hardest hit and who have the fewest resources to help them adapt,” Biden said, saying the spending combined with mobilizing private finance would bring rich countries closer together. of the $ 100 billion annually. climate finance he promised the poorest nations. “This will make the United States the leader in public climate finance.”

The un Climate conference seen as political turning point for global bid to prevent temperatures from rising 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The UN said last week that meeting current greenhouse gas reduction commitments would still warm the world by 2.7 degrees Celsius in 2100.

In recent weeks, nations had stepped up public pressure on the United States to increase climate aid targets. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, rich countries have lost more than $ 20 billion from a previous 2009 pledge to provide poorer countries $ 100 billion in climate assistance per year.

Republicans, who could take over either the Senate or the House – or both – in 2022, have historically avoided distributing more money for global climate initiatives. And while Democrats hold a slim majority in Congress, much of Biden’s climate agenda remains unresolved. Hundreds of billions of dollars are at stake as Congress weighs two massive bills that would fund everything from incentives for electric vehicles to subsidizing more renewable energy.

“Scientists and experts tell us that we are rapidly approaching a point of no return, literally, to keep within our grasp the end goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius,” Biden said. . “Each nation must bring its highest possible ambition to the table when we meet in Glasgow.”

The United States is the world’s largest economy and has sent more heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere than any country, largely by burning fossil fuels. Analyzes show that the “fair share” of US climate spending based on the size of its economy and the greenhouse gas emissions that have heated the planet is over $ 40 billion per year .

The United States is well below this mark. Biden’s budget request for fiscal 2022 called for $ 2.5 billion for international climate programs.

“What the administration has promised so far falls short of the scale of the challenge,” Brandon Wu, director of policy and campaigns at ActionAid USA, said in a statement, referring to Biden’s new commitment.

Last week, several environmental groups called on Biden to spend at least $ 12 billion a year on climate aid by 2024. Rachel Cleetus, policy director for the climate and energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, Biden’s new target is a “welcome and much-needed sign that the United States is finally taking its global climate responsibilities seriously,” said in a statement, but that Congress must also embrace Biden’s national climate agenda to improve the climate. “United States credibility on the world stage”.