(this article is from cnbc.com)
President Barack Obama on Friday pledged a $3 billion U.S. contribution to an international fund to help poor countries cope with the effects of climate change, putting the issue front and center of the G20 Leaders Summit in Australia.
The large size of the contribution took climate policy watchers by surprise and doubles what other countries had previously pledged ahead of a Nov. 20 deadline. It would be the second major move on climate change taken by Obama after big Democratic losses in last week's midterm elections.
"Along with other nations that have pledged support, we'll help vulnerable communities with early-warning systems, stronger defenses against storm surges, and climate-resilient infrastructure," Obama said in remarks ahead of the official opening of the G20 summit.
"We'll help farmers plant more durable crops. We'll help developing economies reduce their carbon pollution and invest in clean energy."
The timing of the announcement was seen as putting pressure Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who is hosting the summit and once described climate science as "absolute crap". Abbott had hoped the G20 summit would focus on growth and jobs.
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