The United States will commit $3 billion to a fund that helps poor nations cope with climate change, a White House official said Friday.
President Barack Obama will unveil the new resources during this week’s G-20 summit in Australia.
The announcement will come days after Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to reduce carbon emissions in their respective nations, a major breakthrough that both countries hope will prompt similar pledges around the world.
The $3 billion is a substantial commitment from the United States that far eclipses pledges from other developed nations. South Korea, Germany, France and Japan have together made vows to contribute to the Green Climate Fund, which was established by the United Nations last year. The UN hopes $100 billion will ultimately be pledged to poor countries affected by a warming planet.
“It is in our national interest to helping vulnerable countries to build resilience to climate change,” the White House official said. “More resilient communities are less likely to descend into instability or conflict in the aftermath of extreme climate events, needing more costly interventions to restore stability and rebuild.”
Obama hopes to make combating climate change a part of his presidential legacy, though a Republican-controlled Congress will make any legislative changes impossible. Aides have said that further executive actions are likely in the remaining two years of Obama’s term.