Hollande pledges $1 billion to climate change fund
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French President François Hollande announced that France will contribute $1 billion to a near-empty global fund to help developing nations adapt to the effects of climate change as he spoke at a United Nations climate summit on Tuesday.
“France will contribute a billion dollars over the next few years,” Hollande said.
Previously, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been the only leader to make such a large contribution, pledging $1 billion over four years in July to the fund known as the Green Climate Fund. Developing countries have called for a target total of $15 billion in 2014.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon challenged more than 120 world leaders to make “bold pledges” about climate change at the one-day summit in New York, which serves as a forum for world leaders to make non-binding pledges. The gathering was designed to add political momentum to a UN process to negotiate a climate-change agreement in Paris by 2015.
Among the most highly anticipated speakers on Tuesday will be US President Barack Obama, whose administration has sought to make United States leadership on climate change a legacy goal.
The White House announced on Tuesday that Obama would issue an executive order to require federal agencies to ensure their international development programs and investments are designed to help communities adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Secretary of State John Kerry hinted on Monday at what else Obama is expected to highlight when he takes the podium.
“Over the past five years, the United States has actually done more to reduce the threat of climate change domestically and with the help of our international partners than in all of the 20 years before that,” he said.
He added the United States was on track to meet its international pledge to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 because of Obama’s climate policies.
Leaders who will be absent from Tuesday’s gathering include Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who represent the first and fourth biggest greenhouse gas polluters.
(FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS)
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