The pressure is on for the United States to make a significant financial commitment to the global Green Climate Fund, in spite of the change in Senate leadership resulting from mid-term elections last week.
“The fund’s job is to collect hundreds of billions of dollars promised to developing countries to help them limit or cut emissions and withstand the effects of global warming,” Douglass explains. Countries will make their first formal pledges to the fund at a meeting in Berlin November 20.
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So far, the fund holds $2.9 billion, two-thirds of it from Germany and France, and “anything that falls way short of the $10 billion…would be a disaster,” said Liane Schalatek, Associate Director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation  in Washington, DC. The Berlin commitments are seen as a litmus test for meetings in Lima later this year that will lay the groundwork for a global climate agreement in Paris in 2015.
“Much of the focus in Berlin will be on the United States, which last month said it intended to make a ‘very significant’ pledge to the Green Climate Fund,” Douglass writes. Last week, four Democratic senators urged President Barack Obama to commit to a “strong target” for emissions reductions after 2020 and a “substantial pledge” to the Fund.