(Adds more detail and background, and announcement by South Korea of $100mln pledge)
By Valerie Volcovici
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 23 (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday announced that France will contribute $1 billion to a near-empty global fund to help poor countries adapt to the effects of climate change as he addressed the United Nation’s summit on climate change.
“France will contribute a billion dollars over the next few years,” he said.
The 750 million euro contribution will be distributed over four years - 2015 to 2018.
Separately, South Korean President Park Geun-hye pledged to contribute up to $100 million to help the United Nations curb climate change. The contribution includes $50 million that South Korea is currently paying to the fund.
The secretariat of the Green Climate Fund, as it is known, is based just outside of the South Korean capital Seoul.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had said he wanted more than 120 world leaders to make “bold pledges” about climate change at the New York summit but few developed countries have offered funds.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been the only leader to make a large contribution, pledging $1 billion over four years in July to the fund. Developing countries have called for a target total of $15 billion in 2014.
Before the German, French and South Korean announcements, pledges to the GCF totaled just $55 million from 12 nations, according to the World Bank.
Developed nations set a goal in 2009 of channeling an annual $100 billion from 2020 to help the poor cope with climate change, made up of funds from both private and public sources. (Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Howard Goller)