In one of his last moves as an American president, Barack Obama has ensured a significant payment for the future of the planet’s climate.

Image credits: Johan Viirok

The Green Climate Fund is one of the crucial funding mechanisms for ensuring a stable climate. It was an integral part of the Paris Agreement, in which the world’s countries agreed to limit emissions to curb global warming to 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels (and try to keep it under 1.5). The main purpose of the fund is to aid developing nations make a smooth transition to renewable energy and implement other sustainable measures, ensuring the adaptation and mitigation.

Donald Trump, the president elect of the US, has been very frank: he doesn’t want any more funding for this kind of thing. He believes climate change isn’t real anyway and he doesn’t want the US funding such initiatives. So Obama wanted to make sure the fund and the climate agreement get one extra boost from him.

The move didn’t come out of the blue. It followed a larger movement which involved over 100 organizations and over 100,000 people asking Obama for support.

“The Obama administration is refusing to let president-elect Trump’s posse of oil barons and climate deniers dictate how the world responds to the climate crisis,” said Tamar Lawrence-Samuel, of Corporate Accountability International, which led the campaign.

“Tens of thousands of people around the world called on President Obama to step up before Trump takes the keys of our government and tries to reverse decades of climate progress,” she said. “This victory is the climate justice movement’s opening salvo to the Trump presidency. And we’re not going away.”

The money can be transferred using executive powers without congressional support.

“The Green Climate Fund is a critical tool that helps catalyze billions of dollars in public and private investment in countries dealing not only with the challenges of climate change, but the immense economic opportunities that are embedded in the transition to a lower carbon economy,” Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters at a briefing Tuesday.

“The United States is pleased to have played a leading role in the establishment of the GCF.”

With both public and private donations, the fund is expected to reach $200 billion by 2020 — which seems huge, but is really just a start in tackling climate change in the developing world.

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