Biden to announce ‘good news’ on $100bn UN climate fund

United States President Joe Biden is expected to announce “good news” on addressing a shortfall in a $100bn global climate fund, a UN official said on Monday following a closed-door meeting on the sidelines of the general assembly.Biden, who will make his first speech to the world body as US president on Tuesday, was represented by climate envoy John Kerry at the meeting convened by the United Kingdom and UN chief Antonio Guterres. Ahead of the Paris agreement in 2015, developed countries pledged to mobilise $100bn a year from 2020 to support poorer nations with climate adaptation, but there is currently a shortfall of about $20bn.“We did hear from the US representative in the room that … some good news was imminent,” the UN official said, adding there were “really positive views and signals coming from the US representative”.

“We don’t have the details, of course, but hopefully it will help to provide that clarity on how the US intends to step up to support the mobilisation of the $100 billion.”

The announcement provides a sliver of hope on the climate front following a slew of recent scientific reports painting a bleak picture of the planet’s future, as the world’s top polluters continue to emit greenhouse gases at alarming rates.The UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who co-hosted the meeting, took leaders to task over their failure to honour their pledges for the fund, which is meant to deliver $100bn every year from 2020 to 2025.

“Everyone nods and we all agree that ‘something must be done,'” said Johnson, whose country will host the crucial COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November.“Yet I confess I’m increasingly frustrated that the something to which many of you have committed is nowhere near enough,” he added, in remarks shared by his office. Last week, the OECD confirmed that only $79.6bn was mobilised in 2019.“We heard from some of the industrialised countries … the faint signs of progress,” Johnson told reporters after the meeting, mentioning Sweden and Denmark.Both countries have announced they would allocate 50 percent or more of their climate financing for adaptation in the developing world, another key UN goal.

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