US promotes climate aid to skeptical Congress
by Shaun Tandon
“WASHINGTON — The US administration said that assistance to poor countries worst hit by climate change was crucial to US credibility as it struggled to convince a skeptical Congress.
Wealthy economies — namely the United States, Japan and European Union — have promised billions of dollars to poor countries in what has become a key component of a future global treaty on climate change.
Chief US climate negotiator Todd Stern on Wednesday told Congress that such investment was “in our national interest” and quoted a World Bank study saying that every dollar spent on disaster preparedness saved $7 in disaster response.
“It will strengthen our international posture, contribute to our own economic growth and help build a clean energy world less exposed and more resilient to the very real dangers of climate change,” Stern told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“Countries around the world see climate change as a core challenge. Whether you agree or disagree with that, it is vital to US diplomatic leverage and to US long-term interests to be seen as part of the solution,” Stern said.
UN-led talks in December in Cancun, Mexico, agreed to set up a Green Climate Fund to help the poorest countries combat climate change, with wealthy nations contributing $100 billion each year starting in 2020.”
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