Joe Biden commits US money to tackle climate change

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Joe Biden brought Boris Johnson’s drive to get world leaders to stump up 100 billion dollars to tackle the climate crisis a step closer by committing to double the US’s climate finance.

Downing Street welcomed the pledge made by president Joe Biden at the United Nations on Tuesday as he acknowledged “we’re fast approaching a point of no return”.

Speaking as the Prime Minister was travelling to the White House, Mr Biden told the summit in New York he would seek to double funds for helping developing nations with climate change.

That would bring the US’s total to 11.4 billion dollars per year, or £8.3 billion, as Mr Johnson pushes for leaders to live up to their commitment to give equivalent to £73 billion per year.

A No 10 spokesman said: “The Prime Minister obviously welcomes the financial commitment that the president has just made on tackling climate change.

“You heard the PM yesterday calling for developed countries to put more money forward in regard to this.”

The Prime Minister had earlier downplayed the chances of hitting the 100 billion dollar target by the Cop26 conference in Glasgow in November.

Mr Biden said he would work with the US Congress to double the contribution again, including funding to help poorer countries to adapt to the impacts of rising global temperatures.

He said the move would, with increased private finance and contributions from other donors, mean developed countries meet the long-promised goal of delivering 100 billion dollars a year for developing countries to deal with the crisis.

Meeting the pledge, first made at climate talks in Copenhagen in 2009, is seen as key to securing a successful outcome at the UN’s key Cop26 summit in Glasgow in November, where countries are under pressure to increase action to avoid the worst impacts of an overheating world.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to board a train from Penn Station in New York to Washington DC (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to board a train from Penn Station in New York to Washington DC (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Mr Biden said: “Scientists and experts are telling us that we’re fast approaching a point of no return.

“To keep within our reach the vital goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C, every nation needs to bring the highest possible ambitions to the table when we meet in Glasgow for Cop26, and then have to keep raising our collective ambition over time.”

Of the pledge to further double climate funding, Mr Biden said: “This will make the United States a leader in public climate finance.

“With our added support, together with increased private capital, and from other donors, we’ll be able to meet the goal of mobilising 100 billion to support climate action in developing nations.”

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