Developed nations are on track to raise $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poorer countries deal with global warming and fulfill a key demand of international climate talks, the U.S. envoy to the negotiations said today.
“It’s very much in the realm of the possible to reach the $100 billion target,” Todd Stern, the U.S. State Department official in charge of climate, told reporters in Washington. “We are certainly on the way.”
Stern spoke as envoys from more than 190 nations gathered in Lima for two weeks of talks on new limits for greenhouse gases. The U.S. and other countries promised in 2009 to mobilize $100 billion in public and private funds to help developing countries cut carbon pollution and adapt to a warming planet. The money is meant to bridge differences between richer and poorer states that hobbled prior talks.
Stern also predicted President Barack Obama would win Congress’ approval for $3 billion he pledged last month to the international Green Climate Fund. The money, like much of Obama’s climate agenda, has drawn opposition from Republicans who will take control of Congress in January.
Obama will request the $3 billion, to be spread over four years, in his budget proposal next year, Stern said. Republicans supported similar funding made by a president of their own party, George W. Bush, he said.
The pledge has “very, very strong support from this White House,” Stern said. “We are committed to it.”
Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, a Republican set to lead the chamber’s environment committee, vowed to fight the funding and the rest of Obama’s “misguided policies” after the pledge was announced Nov. 15.