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In meeting with big economies, Biden to announce funds to fight climate change


U.S. Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech in Riga, Latvia, August 23, 2016. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/

President Joe Biden will announce plans to increase U.S. funding to help developing countries fight climate change and curb deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest during a meeting on Thursday with leaders from the world’s largest economies.

Biden will convene a virtual meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate as part of his efforts to galvanize support for measures to fight global warming. It is the fourth meeting of the group under his presidency.

The countries that take part in the forum account for about 80% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and global gross domestic product, according to the White House.

The president will announce a U.S. contribution of $1 billion to the Green Climate Fund, which finances projects on clean energy and climate change resilience in developing countries, doubling the overall U.S. contribution, the White House said.

He will also announce plans to request $500 million over five years to contribute to the Amazon Fund, which works to combat deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, and related activities. A senior administration official said Biden’s team would have to work with Congress to secure that funding.

Biden, who has made fighting climate change one of his top policy priorities, has set a goal of reducing U.S. emissions 50%-52% by 2030 compared with 2005 levels and has said developed countries need to help developing nations tackle the problem.

This month, Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency proposed sweeping emission cuts for new cars and trucks through 2032 in an effort to boost electric vehicles. Biden will encourage leaders from the group to join a collective effort to spur zero-emission vehicles, the White House said, and to reduce emissions from the shipping and power industries.

Countries and entities that make up the Major Economies Forum include Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, the European Commission, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam.