Climate fund receives $9.3B pledge

Nov 21, 2014, 7:47 AM EST
Industrial smoke stack emitting smog.
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Thirty nations meeting in Berlin have pledged $9.3bn (£6bn) for a fund to help developing countries cut emissions and prepare for climate change. The BBC reports:

The Green Climate Fund was to have held at least $10bn by the end of 2014, so the pledge is just shy of the target. The South Korea-based fund aims to help nations invest in clean energy and green technology.

It is also designed to help them build up defences against rising seas and worsening storms, floods and droughts. Rich nations previously vowed that by 2020, developing countries would get $100bn (£64bn) a year from such a fund.

The US had already pledged $3bn and Japan $1.5bn. The UK, Germany and France have promised about $1bn each, and Sweden more than $500m million. Smaller amounts were offered by countries including Switzerland, South Korea, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Mexico, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic.

After co-hosting the donors' conference, German Environment Minister Gerd Mueller hailed the achievement, saying humanity must fight climate change so "it doesn't go the way of the dinosaurs".

Arctic conditions in eastern United States this week may have been the result of climate change-induced stressors on the jet stream that regulates weather over the northern hemisphere, according to meteorologists. Aljazeera reports:

Residents in a large swath of the country's east have been met with sub-freezing temperatures over the past week. And overnight Wednesday, more than 5 feet of snow descended on parts of western New York state.

Media have referred to the strange weather pattern as the Polar Vortex and the Arctic Blast. Ironically, though, it was warmer-than-usual temperatures that likely sent the cold weather southwards. Climate change-induced ocean warming in the Pacific turned Typhoon Nuri into a “supertyphoon” that punched the jet stream off its course, bringing the North Pole's weather down over the eastern U.S., according to experts.

Scientists have said that warmer ocean temperatures contribute to more frequent and intense extreme weather, making it likely that climate change strengthened Nuri.

“Eleven days ago, we saw Super Typhoon Nuri, one of the most intense storms ever seen in the Pacific, go north to the waters west of Alaska,” Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at Weather Underground, told Al Jazeera.