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VP Harris announces $3B pledge to Green Climate Fund and comments on Israel-Hamas war

Harris explained the U.S.’s pledge of $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund and affirmed Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas during Saturday session

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Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the COP28 United Nations Climate Summit on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, in Dubai.

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a plenary session at the COP28 United Nations Climate Summit on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Rafiq Maqbool, Associated Press

New funding for climate action was announced by Vice President Kamala Harris at the United Nations’ COP28 summit in Dubai on Saturday.

Harris announced a $3 billion U.S. pledge to the Green Climate Fund, which is reported to be “the world’s largest climate fund,” in order to “help developing countries handle climate change.”

Despite the large donation announced, it appeared that Harris’ trip to the conference was “hastily arranged, since her staff recently said she had no plans to attend,” according to The Associated Press.

The White House reportedly released no explanation for the change in plans despite the public backlash of President Joe Biden’s decision to not attend.

What did Kamala Harris say at the climate conference?

“The United States has turned ambition into action,” Harris reportedly said at the conference. “Today we are demonstrating through action how the world can and must meet this crisis.”

Politico reported that in a fast approaching election “that could return Donald Trump to the White House,” Harris encouraged leaders to spend more money to maintain the goal of keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius “within reach.”

“The clock is no longer just ticking; it’s banging,” Harris said. “And we must make up for lost time and we cannot afford to be incremental.”

VOA News reported that along with the $3 billion pledge, the U.S. further committed to phasing out “all the country’s coal-fired power plants” as they have joined the Powering Past Coal Alliance.

Harris emphasized the commitments, saying, “This is a pivotal moment.”

Kamala Harris speaks on Israel-Hamas war

Harris conducted a news conference on “the sidelines of the COP28 summit,” to state that Israel has “legitimate right to conduct military operations against Hamas militants” but the nation should also seek to protect more innocent Palestinians.

In Harris’ remarks, she explained that the public cannot confuse Palestinians with Hamas as she defines Hamas as a “terrorist organization.”

VOA News further detailed that as Harris has spoken with President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt, the White House said, “under no circumstances will the United States permit the forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank, the besiegement of Gaza, or the redrawing of the borders of Gaza.”

The White House also said in regards to Harris’ statement, “the vice president made clear that Hamas cannot control Gaza, which is untenable for Israel’s security, the well-being of the Palestinian people, and regional security,” per VOA News.

“As Israel defends itself, it matters how. The United States is unequivocal: International humanitarian law must be respected. Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed,” Harris said. “As Israel pursues its military objectives in Gaza, we believe Israel must do more to protect innocent civilians.”

A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces said they are trying to minimize civilian deaths while working to free hostages and “dismantle Hamas.”