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House GOP moves to gut foreign climate aide

27 Jul 2011  |   Emma Brown

Tags: Climate Change, Congress

In the latest round of assaults on climate policy, two House committees indicated plans this week to drastically reduce and eliminate foreign aid for vital climate change initiatives, Jake Schmidt at the National Resources Defense Council explains.

On Tuesday the House Foreign Affairs Committee approved—with only Republican support—H.R. 2583, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2012. The legislation includes an amendment by Representative Mack (R – FL) to prohibit funding from being used to “support activities of the Global Climate Change Initiative.”

On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee will consider an Appropriations Bill that includes a series of measures designed to stall or eliminate key climate change programs. Altogether the bill:

  • Eliminates funding for the Clean Technology Fund and the Strategic Climate Fund, World Bank initiatives designed to help impoverished nations develop clean energy sources and adopt climate resilient practices.
  • Bans U.S. funding for the International Panel on Climate Change, the key body dedicated to understanding climate science
  • Prohibits U.S funding of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a treaty which was ratified and signed nearly 20 years ago under Republican leadership.
  • Drastically reduces funding to the Global Environment Facility (GEF), an international program designed to help populations address vital environmental concerns.
  • Cuts $2.2 billion from the Economic Support Fund and Development Assistance account, which provide funding for bilateral State Department and US Agency for International Development initiatives to address climate change on an international level.

At current funding levels, foreign aid to climate change initiatives accounts for less than .05% of the overall U.S. budget.

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