President Joe Biden announced that he would work with Congress to double the funding the United States provides each year to help developing countries cope with climate change and reduce their emissions. Biden said in April that the U.S. would double its spending to $5.7 billion, and his pledge Tuesday to double that figure again would lift the U.S. contribution to $11.4 billion. “This will make the United States a leader in public climate finance,” Biden said in a speech at the United Nations.
While some climate activists welcomed the announcement, they also warned that it was still not enough.
“Developed countries pledged more than a decade ago to begin providing $100 billion annually by 2020 to help the most defenseless nations deal with the deepening consequences of sea-level rise, heat waves, intensifying hurricanes and other effects of warming — and to hasten the transition away from fossil fuels as those economies grow,” The Washington Post’s Brady Dennis reports. “But that money has never fully materialized” — and data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development show that, as of 2019, developed nations remained about $20 billion short of their promised total.
“Whether the latest climate finance figure represents a fair share for the United States, given its wealth and its role as the world’s largest historical emitter of greenhouse gases, is open to interpretation,” Dennis adds. “Earlier this year, an analysis by the independent international think tank Overseas Development Institute found the United States ideally should be contributing $31.9 billion to $49.4 billion a year toward climate help for developing nations. This week, a collection of advocacy groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club, called on the administration to commit at least $12 billion per year by 2024.”