Australia has made a pledge of AU$200 million (about $165 million) in aid of the United Nations (UN) climate fund at a conference in Lima.
Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia, previously announced that the country would not contribute to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which redistributes funds received from developed countries to developing countries so that they can cope with climate change.
Abbott previously argued that Australia is committed to reducing emissions as part of the Direct Action Plan. The plan will see the country spend $2.55 billion toward emission reduction by 2020, which will be equivalent to 12 percent below the 2005 mark.
However, Julie Bishop, Foreign Minister of Australia, recently announced at the Lima conference that Australia will pledge $165 million to the GFC as the country's commitment to cope with global climate change. The GCF has received around $10 billion as pledges.
"The pledge to the Green Climate Fund will facilitate private sector led economic growth in the Indo-Pacific region with a particular focus on investment in infrastructure, energy, forestry (building on the successful Asia Pacific Rainforest Summit hosted in Sydney in November) and emissions reduction programmes," read a joint statement by Abbott and Bishop.
Abbott admitted that he had made comments that Australia would not contribute to the GCF, but things have changed recently. It is time for the country to make a modest contribution in response to global climate change.
The Lima conference is the UN's biggest climate conference to date. However, the Lima conference is also estimated to have the biggest carbon footprint of any UN climate conference.
Temporary structures have been built in open space measuring about 11 football fields. Various components used for the structures were also brought by air from Brazil and France. The transport of which contributes to emission.
As sunshine is not reliable in Lima, the structures do not use solar panels as the source of energy. Electricity will be generated solely from diesel-powered generators.
Even though the UN climate conference will focus on reducing global emissions, the conference itself will be responsible for producing 50,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which China produces in just three minutes and Peru in about 6 hours and 40 minutes.