By Patrick Goodenough, CNS News
(CNSNews.com) – American taxpayers spent $7.45 billion to help developing countries cope with climate change in fiscal years 2010 through 2012, according to a federal government report submitted to the United Nations on a subject that Secretary of State John Kerry described as “a truly life-and-death challenge.”
That sum of $7.45 billion, which reached more than 120 countries through bilateral and multilateral channels, met President Obama’s “commitment to provide our fair share” of a collective pledge by developed nations to provide a total of nearly $30 billion in “fast start finance” (FSF), the report stated.
The pledge was made at a Dec. 2009 U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen, and the FSF funding aims to support developing countries adapt to and cope with phenomena blamed on climate change, such as droughts and rising sea levels.
“International assistance for climate change continues to be a major priority for the United States,” the administration said in its “Climate Action Report,” submitted to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on Wednesday.
It noted that since the U.S. ratified the convention in 1992, its international climate funding had increased from “virtually zero” to an average of $2.5 billion each year in the 2010-2012 FSF period.
“During the period, average annual appropriated climate assistance increased fourfold compared with 2009 funding levels,” the report said. “U.S. climate assistance has increased in the context of an overall increasing foreign assistance budget.”