G20 backs 'strong and effective action' on climate change

G20 backs 'strong and effective action' on climate change
(L to R) Spain's President Mariano Rajoy Brey, Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, France's President Francois Hollande, US President Barack Obama, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker take part in a multi-lateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Brisbane.

BRISBANE, Australia - Leaders of the world's most powerful economies on Sunday backed "strong and effective action" on climate change while throwing their support behind the UN's Green Climate Fund, aimed at helping poorer countries deal with the problem.

"We support strong and effective action to address climate change," G20 leaders said in a communique after weekend talks in Brisbane.

"We reaffirm our support for mobilising finance for adaptation and mitigation, such as the Green Climate Fund." The announcement comes after Japan confirmed Sunday plans to give up to US$1.5 billion to the UN-backed Green Climate Fund, joining a US pledge of US$3 billion (S$3.9 billion) to mitigate the impact of global warming on poor nations.

In their declaration, G20 leaders said they aimed to support sustainable development, economic growth, and certainty for business and investment and would press for an agreed outcome at climate talks in Paris next year.

US President Barack Obama and European leaders had come together in Brisbane to demand that the G20 commit to collective action against climate change, a counter to the pro-growth agenda pushed by Australian Prime Minister and G20 host Tony Abbott.

Abbott had resisted some language on climate proposed for the G20 communique, with one European diplomat likening the negotiations to "trench warfare", but Obama breathed new life into global talks on greenhouse emissions with a surprise pact with China last week.

The Australian prime minister said Sunday that while all members wanted to take action against climate change, they wanted to do it in ways that strengthened growth and boosted employment.

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