Japan yesterday confirmed plans to donate up to US$1.5 billion to the UN-backed Green Climate Fund, joining a US pledge of US$3 billion to mitigate the impact of global warming on poor nations.
The move was flagged by Japanese media outlets ahead of the summit of G20 leaders in Brisbane and was rubber-stamped in a statement by the White House after US President Barack Obama met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the summit sidelines.
“Making good on our commitment to support efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilience worldwide, the US and Japan announced a total of up to US$4.5 billion in pledges to the Green Climate Fund,” it said in a statement.
“This includes up to US$3 billion from the US and up to US$1.5 billion from Japan, subject to respective domestic procedures and based on strong contributions from other donors,” it said.
“Our pledges build on those already announced by Germany, France and other donors, which include developed and developing countries,” the statement said.
The fund is a mechanism designed as a way for wealthy nations to help poorer ones to become greener and to bolster their defenses against the effects of climate change.
France and Germany have pledged to contribute US$1 billion each to the UN’s new climate framework.
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change executive secretary Christiana Figueres has called for an initial capitalization of US$10 billion by the end of the year.
“Today’s [Sunday] announcement builds on a history of collective leadership by the US, Japan and other countries to support resilient and low-carbon development around the world,” the White House statement added.
The Japanese confirmation followed talks among the two leaders and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, a skeptic about anthropogenic global warming who has been eager to keep the G20 focused on economic issues.
Despite Abbott’s reluctance, climate change was set to be mentioned in the G20 leaders’ final communique expected yesterday, after Obama breathed new life into global discussions on greenhouse gas emissions via a surprise pact with China last week.
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