USA promises more climate aid for SA


At the United Nations (UN) COP28 climate summit in Dubai, the US pledged to donate more than $2 billion (R37 billion) to many developing cities, including South Africa’s own Mbombela (Nelspruit), to help these areas to tackle climate change.

Samantha Power, administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), says the funding comes from the private sector and will help developing countries adapt to the changing climate.

“We must do more to tackle the climate crisis – and we are doing,” she said.

USAID has already pledged $53 million (R1 billion) to 23 developing cities to help reduce their carbon emissions.

The cities that will benefit from this include Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek, the West Indian city of Rajkot, Mbombela (Nelspruit) in South Africa, and Hermosillo and Merida in Mexico.

USAID also announced the mobilization of another $2.3 billion (about R43.6 billion) from the private sector as part of climate initiatives by Pres. Joe Biden.

A total of 21 companies pledged to donate money to this initiative after attending last year’s COP27 climate summit in Egypt.

A USAID official defended the US’s partnership with companies and said the private sector has shown a strong interest in climate.

“In the long term, there is only so much government funding you can use for a problem. We need the whole economy.”

Deputy Pres. Kamala Harris pledged on Saturday that the US will contribute $3 billion (R56 billion) to a global climate fund, but the money must be approved by a divided Congress.

Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa spoke out earlier about the lack of funding for developing countries, and argued that the countries responsible for climate change should help those who now have to bear its consequences.