Japan pledges up to $1.5 billion to U.N. climate fund

AFP-JIJI, Kyodo

Japan plans to give up to $1.5 billion to the U.N.-backed Green Climate Fund to help developing countries fight global warming, sources said on Friday.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to announce the pledge at a gathering of the leaders of the Group of 20 developed countries in Brisbane, Australia, according to sources close to the matter.

The cash will come on top of a reported $2.5 billion that Washington is putting up for the GCF, which is designed as a way for wealthy countries to help poorer ones become greener and to bolster their defenses against the effects of climate change.

France and Germany have pledged to contribute $1 billion each to the U.N.’s new climate framework.

Christiana Figueres, the head of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, has called for an initial capitalization of $10 billion by the end of the year.

The G-20 summit is the third event in an intensive week for international meetings, and comes after U.S. President Barack Obama and China’s President Xi Jinping agreed to a deal that would see both countries — major polluters — curb their emissions.

China set a target for its greenhouse gas output to peak “around 2030,” the first time Beijing agreed to an approximate target date for beginning to reverse its emissions trend.

Obama set a goal for the U.S. to cut such emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.