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Europe Pledges $3B in Climate Aid to 3rd World

WASHINGTON (CN) - European leaders on Friday pledged $3 billion to help developing countries cope with the environmental effects of climate change, a move that could garner support from third-world nations at the ongoing international conference on global warming in Copenhagen.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made the announcement on behalf of the European Union, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said France would contribute $620 million toward the fund next year, the New York Times reported.

Yvo de Boer, head of the United Nations' climate office, called on developed nations to contribute $30 billion to help poorer nations cope with rising sea levels and a higher prevalence of droughts and floods, and to assist them in developing their own low-carbon energy sources.

The pledge, which leaves open the possibility of $9 billion in contributions over the next three years, is a step toward satisfying the demands of developing nations for $100 billion in financial support each year, as part of an emissions agreement.

Before U.N. talks on climate change wind down next week, world leaders hope to have a general political agreement on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. However, they acknowledged that an agreement on solid quotas will likely have to wait.

Wealthy nations have agreed not to let the earth's temperature rise by 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit above today's average global temperature of roughly 59 degrees.

The Alliance of Small Island States called for the temperature ceiling to drop by almost 1 degree Fahrenheit, which would leave only 0.3 degrees before the limit is reached.

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