Kamala Harris, US Vice President, speaking at the COP28 summit at Expo City Dubai on Saturday, December 2. Image Credit: Screengrab

Dubai: The United States Vice President Kamila Harris pledged $3 billion towards the Green Climate Fund — dedicated to helping developing countries invest in resilience, clean energy and nature-based solutions — at the World Climate Action Summit at the UN COP28 in Dubai on Saturday.

“Today, we are demonstrating how the world can and must meet this crisis through action. This is a pivotal moment. Our action collectively, or worse, our inaction, will impact billions of people for decades to come,” the Vice President told world leaders at the COP28.

This year alone, the US has increased its contributions towards climate action to over US$9.5 billion, which puts the country on track to reach President Biden’s ambitious $11 billion goal by 2024.

Green Climate Fund

The latest pledge would add to another $2 billion previously delivered by the United States.

Harris is representing US President Joe Biden at COP28. She joins a US delegation that includes special climate envoy John Kerry and senior US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administration officials and cabinet members.

The pledge of support comes on top of $9.3 billion in new commitments already announced by the UK, France, Germany, Japan, and other nations. This is part of the second round of replenishments for the fund to finance projects in climate-vulnerable counties between 2024 and 2027.

The Green Climate Fund, based in South Korea, boasts over $20 billion in total pledges. It aids developing nations in climate action and clean energy transition. Reuters reports it as the largest international fund for such initiatives.

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Progress is not possible without a fight

“As much as we have accomplished, there is still much more work. And 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 climate inaction and lobby for billions of dollars in fossil fuel subsidies in the face of their resistance. And in the context of this moment, we must do more to keep our critical 1.5-degree Celsius goal within reach.”

She stated, “We must have the ambition to meet this moment to accelerate our ongoing work, increase our investments and lead with courage and conviction.”

Final rules

The US pledge also came close on the heels of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement of the final rules that will help reduce methane and other harmful air pollutants from the oil and natural gas industry. It would also promote cutting-edge methane detection technologies, which will deliver significant economic and public health benefits.

Regarding the US’s role at COP28 this year, White House National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi said: “The US has been a partner with this COP’s dialogue and in the mechanisms to address the Loss and Damage Fund. And we have a strong track record as an administration with over $11 billion allotted in climate finance.”