27 nations pledge nearly $10B to fight climate change, US not among them

27 nations pledge nearly $10B to fight climate change, US not among them
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The U.S. did not participate in an international climate fund Friday in which wealthy countries pledged nearly $10 billion to assist poorer nations in combatting climate change. 

The Green Climate Fund, which organized the effort, said in a statement that 27 countries combined to pledge $9.8 billion by the end of a two-day conference in Paris later this year.

It said the resources “will help developing countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the negative effects of global warming, such as rising sea levels, record temperatures, prolonged drought, and more frequent and severe weather events.” 

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“We are honored by the global community’s confidence in the Fund’s ability to support countries and communities to raise and realize their climate ambitions,” said Yannick Glemarec, executive director of the Green Climate Fund.

“The coming years are critical as we empower our partners to innovate, accelerate and scale up climate investments that match the pace and urgency of the climate crisis," he continued.

However, the U.S. did not join the 27 nations in pledging any money, as President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE has decided to cut off funds to the group, a decision that drew rebukes from climate advocacy groups. 

The Climate Action Network, which consists of more than 1,300 nongovernmental organizations, said in a statement that the U.S. and Australia, which also did not donate any money, have “turned their backs on the world’s poorest and have once again isolated themselves in global efforts to respond to the climate emergency."

Despite the absence of the two powers, the Green Climate Fund expressed optimism that it would be able to find supplemental resources.

“We will most likely be able to find additional resources” before the United Nations’ annual climate conference in December, Glemarec told The Associated Press.

The United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan and Sweden were this year’s top contributors to the fund. The total pledged this year surpasses the $9.3 billion announced at the Green Climate Fund’s previous pledging conference in 2014.

Existing investments supported by the Green Climate Fund are working to assist less developed countries, such as Rwanda, Kenya and Mongolia, with projects that seek to close energy gaps for the power deficient, assist in the transition to renewable sources of energy and boost the strength of water supplies.