President Obama announced on Saturday that the United States will contribute $3 billion to a new international fund intended to help the world’s poorest countries address the effects of climate change.
Mr. Obama made the announcement at a summit meeting of the Group of 20 industrial powers this weekend in Brisbane, Australia, on the heels of his landmark announcement this week that the United States and China will jointly commit to curbing greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade.
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“The U.S. military spending topped $575 billion last year alone,” said Janet Redman, climate policy program director at the Washington D.C.-based think tank the Institute for Policy Studies. “While it’s welcome, a White House pledge of $3 billion over four years to climate security is a drop in the bucket by comparison.”
“The impacts of climate change — extreme storms, water scarcity, food shortages — are no longer threats,” she said. “For vulnerable communities around the world they are a reality. The expected commitment from President Obama to provide $3 billion to support these communities as they build resilience to climate disruption and shift to clean renewable energy is a start. But the U.S. will have to step up its ambition in providing finance and cutting greenhouse gas emissions if the international community hopes to secure a fair and equitable climate deal at the end of next year that protects people and the planet.”