The US will double its annual climate change aid budget and give $11.4m per year by 2024 to developing countries, President Joe Biden announced today.
Biden said at the UN General Assembly that the new commitment will make the US “the leader of public climate finance” just months before the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow.
The funding will go toward protecting developing countries that are most at risk from extreme weather events and rising temperatures caused by the effects of climate change.
The world’s richest countries signed up to a deal to collectively raise $100bn a year in climate financing at the 2010 UN climate change summit in Mexico.
However, a decade later this target has still not been met.
Boris Johnson yesterday urged developed countries to commit larger sums of climate aid, warning that “the world will see, and your people will remember, and history will judge” those who do not act.
Biden said he was confident the $100bn a year target would be met, but added that the globe is “fast approaching the point of no return”.
“This year has brought widespread death and devastation from the borderless climate crisis,” he said.
“Will we meet the threat of the more challenging climate already ravaging every part of our world with extreme weather, or we will we suffer the merciless march of ever worsening droughts and floods, more intense fires and hurricanes, longer heatwaves and rising seas?”
UN secretary general António Guterres said: “We must get serious, and we must act fast. We are on the edge of an abyss and moving in the wrong direction.”
The UK will host the Cop26 summit in November, with Johnson looking to seal a global deal to renew climate change commitments made in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
The summit has been billed by the government as the last chance for governments to multilaterally set targets to stop global temperatures rising by any more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
China has not agreed to attend the summit and other large CO2 emitters like India, Brazil and Russia have been reluctant in early talks over a new climate deal.
The Prime Minister said earlier this week that there was only a six-in-ten chance that a deal will be struck at Cop26.
“Cop26 will be staged in the full glare of the global spotlight,” Johnson said.
“And when the summit ends, when most of the world has committed to decisive, game-changing action, it will be clear to all which of us has lacked the courage to step up.”