PARIS (Reuters) - The United States announced plans to double grant funding it provides to help developing countries adapt to climate change to around $860 million a year, a pledge that may help clinch a major global climate pact this week.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced the new financing pledge during a speech on Wednesday at the U.N. global climate conference in Paris, where negotiators from 195 countries are working to reach an agreement on curbing greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2020 by this weekend.
"We are going to do our part," Kerry said. "We will not leave the most vulnerable nations among us to weather the storm alone."
The pledge may help unstick one of the main points of contention at the summit in Paris, where developing nations are pressing for more funding to offset the impact of climate change, such as droughts, flooding and sea level rise.
A U.S. official said the new funds represented a "longer term commitment to expanding focus on adaptation".
The official did not say how the grants would be appropriated, saying only that the funds would come from the State Department and Treasury budgets. It would be distributed through a number of U.S. mechanisms, such as USAID, as well as multi-lateral systems like the Green Climate Fund.
(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton and Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Jonathan Leff)