Obama launches $34M climate effort for poor countries

Obama launches $34M climate effort for poor countries
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The Obama administration launched a $34 million public-private effort to help developing nations prepare for the effects of climate change.

The partnership “will provide needed climate services — including actionable science, data, information, tools, and training — to developing countries that are working to strengthen their national resilience to the impacts of climate change,” the White House said in a fact sheet.

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The announcement follows up on a pledge President Obama made last year at a United Nations summit on climate change.

Poor countries have long maintained that richer countries with more economic development should shoulder most of the burden of cutting greenhouse gases to fight climate change. The poorer countries, meanwhile, bear much of the brunt of the effects of a warming planet.

Along with the United States government, the program involves the American Red Cross, the Asian Development Bank, Esri, Google Inc., the Inter-American Development Bank, the Skoll Global Threats Fund, and the government of the United Kingdom.

The White House said some of the expected effects of climate change, like rising sea levels, ocean acidification and loss of biodiversity, can be particularly damaging in developing and poor countries.

Initially, the effort will be focused only on Colombia, Bangladesh and Ethiopia.

The announcement came a day after leaders of the G-7 countries agreed to various climate change goals, including “the need to integrate climate risks into development assistance and investment programs across the board, and to increase access to risk insurance to help developing countries respond to and recover from climate-related disasters.”