BRISBANE, Australia (AFP) – US President Barack Obama will pledge US$3 billion to a UN fund aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change in the world’s poorest countries, a US official said Friday. “It is in our national interest to helping vulnerable countries to build resilience to climate change,” the admi-nistration official said as Obama headed to a G20 summit in Australia.
Obama was en route to Brisbane after visi-ting Myanmar and China, where on Wednes-day he and President Xi Jinping announced ambitious targets on greenhouse gas emis-sions as part of a pact designed to breathe new life into attempts to replace the international Kyoto treaty. Obama was expected to outline his pledge in a speech on Saturday in Brisbane on the sidelines of the G20 talks, as backers and donors involved in the UN’s “Green Cli-mate Fund” (GCF) prepare to meet in Berlin on November 20. The US president’s renewed focus on climate change threatens to upend Australia’s stated focus of keeping the G20 summit confined to economic issues.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is a sceptic about man-made global warming and he was forced to deny Friday that the revived debate about the issue this week risks leaving him isolated.