U.S. To Help United Nations Reach $100 Billion Climate Change Pledge

by Taylor Cunningham

Climate ambassador John Kerry believes that, starting this year, wealthy nations will finally make good on their promise to give $100 billion dollars a year to poor nations in the hopes of battling climate change—thanks to increased US funding. If leaders don’t reach that amount before the year-end, they will definitely hit the mark by 2023. Kerry made his comments during an informal meeting on “Climate Finance for Sustaining Peace and Security” with the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday.

At a Glance

  • In 2009, the U.N. pledged to send $100 billion a year to poor nations to combat climate change.
  • John Kerry believes the US will help the U.N. reach that goal this year or next.
  • The Biden administration has promised to allocate more funds to the effort and gradually increase funding through 2024.
  • Kerry does not believe the $100 billion dollar pledge is enough to reach overall climate change goals.

The US Promises More Money to Developing Nations Battling Climate Change

The $100 million a year pledge came during a U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009. World leaders hoped the aid would help developing countries meet worldwide goals that could battle further rises in temperatures. Originally the group aimed to give the funding by 2020.

During Wednesday’s meeting, Kerry told the council that President Biden has committed to increasing our current contribution to get closer to or meet the promised amount.

“That increase is going to help us to deliver on $100 billion,” he said. “We’re doing just a little bit shy of that for 2022. It is absolutely clear we will have it for 2023. I still think we can get it for 2022.”

Last year, Biden promised to quadruple the overall current US funding to battle climate change that was set by the Obama administration.

And in November, Biden announced “an emergency plan for adaptation and resilience” that would “help more than 500 million people in developing countries to be able to manage the impacts of the climate crisis by 2030.”

The Biden administration is currently working on a plan with Congress to give $3 billion to the program each year and increase the amount further in 2024.

“It’s the largest kind of commitment like this that the United States has ever made in our history,” said Kerry.

However, John Kerry doesn’t think $100 million dollars will make a large enough impact on climate change. He believes world governments will have to work together and step up their pledges.

In total, Kerry said the world will need trillions of dollars allocated annually.

“No single government — no group of governments — can meet the $2.5 trillion to $4.6 trillion deficit that we face in order to affect this transition,” he said.