© AFP 2015/ Timothy A. Clary
© AFP 2015/ Timothy A. Clary

UNITED NATIONS – Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on Saturday that Beijing will establish an assistance fund with an initial pledge of $2 billion to help developing countries implement a sweeping global sustainable development agenda over the next 15 years.

“China will continue to increase investment in the least developed countries, aiming to increase its total to $12 billion by 2030,” Xi told a sustainable development summit of world leaders at the United Nations in New York.

“China will exempt the debt of outstanding intergovernmental interest-free loans due by the end of 2015 owed by the relevant least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing countries,” he added.

The 193-member United Nations General Assembly on Friday adopted the most far-reaching agenda ever of global goals to combat poverty, inequality and climate change, capping years of debate.

Described by the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as “a to-do list for people and planet,” the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are to be implemented over the next 15 years with a big global push to win public and political support.

“Looking to the future, China will continue to take a right approach to justice and interests by putting justice before interests and join the other countries in the concerted efforts to realize the post-2015 development agenda,” Xi said.

During Xi’s first state visit to the United States, he and U.S. President Barack Obama also unveiled on Friday new steps they will take to deliver on pledges they made then to slash their greenhouse gas emissions.

One of the steps announce by Xi was that China would channel 20 billion RMB ($3.1 billion) to help developing countries combat and adapt to climate change, a significant financial pledge from an emerging economy.

On Saturday at the United Nations, Xi also said China would establish a development knowledge center to allow countries to share best practices.

“China will propose discussion on establishing a global energy internet to facilitate efforts to meet the global power demand with clean and green alternatives,” Xi said.