The U.S. and 31 other countries pledged this week to allocate a total of $2.92 billion over four years to support the Global Environmental Facility, an international fund to promote clean and efficient energy, biodiversity protection, and water-restoration efforts in developing nations. The Bush administration contributed $500 million of that total, but is currently about $270 million in debt to the GEF from earlier, unpaid commitments. Although the U.S. donation is $70 million higher than past funding levels, the extra money will only be paid if the GEF meets certain numerical targets, such as reducing greenhouse gases and increasing the amount of protected land. The GEF, which is administered by the World Bank, has allocated $4.2 billion to 1,000 environmental projects in developing countries since its founding in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
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