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US applauds China's climate financial contribution

Updated: 2015-11-25 11:39

AMY HE in New York

(China Daily USA)

Despite the question of finances being one of the controversial pieces of the Paris climate negotiations next week, the US' top climate-change negotiator applauded China on Tuesday for its $3 billion contribution to help developing countries prepare for climate change.

China had announced the contribution in September during President Xi Jinping's state visit to the US, a big increase compared to previous commitments and one that could potentially surpass the US' contribution to the United Nations' Green Climate Fund.

" That's terrific. So in a system going forward, as more and more countries grow, develop, and gain the capacity to become contributors—not just recipients—we think that that's a development that should be encouraged," said Todd Stern, President Barack Obama's special envoy for climate change, in a conference call from Washington with media about the upcoming Paris conference.

US President Barack Obama will meet China's president and India's prime minister on the first day of the Paris climate talks on Nov 30 to give momentum to the two-week UN negotiations, White House officials said on Tuesday.Obama's meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the start of the two-week climate summit "send a strong message to the world about their strong commitment to climate change," White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said.

Paul Bodnar, senior director for energy and climate change at the White House National Security Council, said Obama's meetings with Xi and Modi are not meant to yield announcements but to consult on key negotiations issues. "These two countries are two of our most important partners in dealing with global climate change," he said.

Joanna Lewis, associate professor at Georgetown University, said in an interview that just the announcement of China's financial contribution is a "big deal, because up until this point the financing discussion has been limited to ‘developed' countries providing funds for ‘developing' countries." She said the contribution "broadens the scope of climate finance as well as the total amount that countries will pledge."

Financing climate goals has been a key issue leading up to the Paris talks, with countries discussing how to unlock financial support to help developing countries achieve low-carbon growth.

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