US pledges 3b for UN climate fund

US President Barack Obama will pledge $3 billion to a UN fund aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change in the world's poorest countries, a US official said yesterday."It is in our national interest to helping vulnerable countries to build resilience to climate change," the administration official said as Obama headed to a G20 summit in Australia.Obama was en route to Brisbane after visiting Myanmar and China, where on Wednesday he and President Xi Jinping announced ambitious targets on greenhouse gas emissions as part of a pact designed to breathe new life into attempts to replace the international Kyoto treaty.Obama was expected to outline his pledge in a speech tomorrow in Brisbane on the sidelines of the G20 talks, as backers and donors involved in the UN's "Green Climate Fund" (GCF) prepare to meet in Berlin on November 20.

The US president's renewed focus on climate change threatens to upend Australia's stated focus of keeping the G20 summit confined to economic issues.
The UN-backed GCF is designed to enlist private-sector money on top of government donations, and so help poorer countries to invest in environmentally friendly technologies and build up their defences against rising sea levels and less predictable weather patterns.At the G20 summit, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to say that Japan will give up to $1.5 billion to the Green Climate Fund, Kyodo News agency reported yesterday.

Christiana Figueres, the head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, has called for an initial capitalisation of $10 billion by the end of the year.
France and Germany have already pledged to contribute $1 billion each.The G20 meeting is the third event in an intensive week for international summitry, and comes after Obama and Xi agreed their deal to make their countries -- the world's top two polluters -- curb their emissions. China set a target for its greenhouse gas output to peak "around 2030" and Obama set a goal for the US to cut such emissions by 26-28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.