As global concerns rise sharply about the changes to the Earth’s climate, a group helping poor nations address the issue raised an additional $9.8 billion.
The Green Climate Fund announced the contributions from 27 different countries following a two-day conference in Paris. The U.S., under President Trump, did not make a pledge and has stopped paying into the fund. Upon winning the presidency, one of Trump’s first acts was to pull the U.S. out of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
The Paris Agreement, which at the time was considered a landmark, was voluntarily signed in 2016 by 196 countries, including the U.S. and China, with a long-term goal to “strengthen the global response to climate change, reaffirms the goal of limiting global temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius, while pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees.”
Extinction Rebellion activists Ursula Pethick, aged 83, John Lynes, 91, and John Halladay, 61, leave court where they were bailed to attend trial at a later date charged in connection with an environmental protest, in Folkestone, England, Wednesday Oct. 23, 2019. (Kirsty O’Connor/PA via AP)
“We will most likely be able to find additional resources” before the United Nations’ annual climate conference, which will be held in December in Santiago, Chile, Yannick Glemarec, the executive director of the Green Climate Fund, told the Associated Press.
Glemarec believes the extra money will allow the fund’s capacity to rise to $2.4 billion per year between the period of 2020 and 2024, up from about $1.4 billion per year, currently.
French finance minister Bruno Le Maire called it “a great success,” attributing it largely to European countries. Approximately half of the money is coming from France, Germany and Britain, though Le Maire added: “Many countries will double their contributions.”
The South Korea-based fund has almost run out of the initial $7 billion in funding it raised five years ago.
Climate change activists gather for a march and rally with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg at the Alberta Legislature Building in Edmonton, Alberta, on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (Dave Chidley/The Canadian Press via AP)
News of the new funding round comes shortly after a series of eye-opening reports about the devastating economic effects of climate change.
In September, the United Nations published a report stating the world’s oceans are undergoing drastic, accelerated change. And the risks associated with these changes to the climate are getting ever greater, threatening hundreds of millions of people and the global economy itself.
Issued by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the report highlighted the changes that are happening as a result of increased emissions from greenhouse gases, including: sea levels rising by three feet by 2100; significantly fewer fish in the oceans; stronger hurricanes; and regular flooding in coastal cities such as New York.
In June, a report written by the U.N.’s Human Rights Council warned that a potential “climate apartheid” could fracture the global population, splitting the planet between the wealthy and the rest of the world who will be “left to suffer.”
A separate study, circulated by the National Bureau of Economic Research in August, suggested that countries that are warm, cold, rich or poor will all see a significant loss of income if they do not abide by the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.