The Biden administration said it is going to spend $3 billion to help less developed economies address the impact of climate change, including more than $400 million to advance “gender equity” in those countries.
The announcement comes as Vice President Kamala Harris, speaking on Saturday at the United Nations’ annual climate summit in Dubai, urged rich countries to “do more” to keep pace with an agenda of preventing the global temperature from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“The U.S. is committed to expanding international climate finance,” the vice president said. “I am proud to announce a new $3 billion pledge to the Green Climate Fund to help developing countries access capital to invest in resilience, clean energy, and nature-based solutions.”
The Green Climate Fund was created by the United Nations in 2010 with a goal to finance developing countries’ transition away from burning fossil fuels and building infrastructure to adapt to climate change. About 65 percent of the Fund’s current $13.5 portfolio comes from the public sector.
In 2014, the administration of former President Barack Obama pledged to put $3 billion into the Fund. Citing the unfair economic burden imposed on American taxpayers by climate goals dictated by the Paris Climate Agreement, President Donald Trump in 2017 ceased the implementation of several Obama-era commitments and, as a result, withheld the remaining $2 billion of the $3 billion pledge.
The Trump administration formally withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement in November 2020, only to have the succeeding Biden administration rejoin the accord a few months later.
In her speech on Saturday, Vice President Harris accused people skeptical of the global climate agenda of trying to “slow or stop our progress.”
“Continued progress will not be possible without a fight,” she said. “Around the world, there are those who seek to slow or stop our progress: leaders who deny climate science, delay climate action, and spread misinformation; corporations that greenwash their climate inaction and lobby for billions of dollars in fossil fuel subsidies.”
“We must have the ambition to meet this moment, to accelerate our ongoing work, increase our investments, and lead with courage and conviction,” she stated.
The stated goal of the initiative is to bolster “women’s economic participation” in fields such as “clean energy, fisheries, recycling, forest management, and environmental conservation,” the White House said.
The initiative would provide $449 million for new programs such as “Global Girls Creating Change,” a program that seeks to give 900 girls and young women in 29 different countries “professional opportunities in the sustainable economy,” with “focused efforts” in Brazil, Indonesia, Nepal, and Uganda.
The White House added that the Rockefeller Foundation will be committing $25 million to the Co-Impact Gender Fund, aiming to “help advance women’s leadership and access to climate finance in green sectors.” The UPS Foundation is also committing $3 million to the Climate Gender Equity Fund to “foster a greener world and create economic opportunities for women.”
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