Turn to the nation's most objective and informative daily environmental news resource to learn how the United States and key players around the world are responding to the environmental...
By Dean Scott
March 8 — The U.S. has released $500 million to the Green Climate Fund as a partial payment of a broader $3 billion pledge the Obama administration has made to the United Nations fund to help developing nations adapt to climate impacts, a State Department official said March 8.
“This grant is the first step toward meeting the president's commitment of $3 billion to the GCF and shows that the United States stands squarely behind our international climate commitments” and the Paris climate deal reached by nearly 200 nations in December, the spokesman said.
But Senate Republicans continue to oppose the funding, with Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) calling the money a “slush fund” that was never specifically authorized by Congress.
“It appears to be the latest example of the administration going around Congress because the American people don't really support what the president is doing with this initiative,” Barrasso, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Multilateral International Development, Multilateral Institutions, and International Economic, Energy, and Environmental Policy, said at a March 8 hearing.
“This is a blatant misuse of taxpayer dollars,” Barrasso said.
The administration unveiled its pledge in 2014 to provide a total of $3 billion over four years toward an international Green Climate Fund in hopes of bringing developing nations to the table for a global climate agreement (.
About $10.3 billion has been pledged to the fund, largely from developed nations. The nearly 200 nations agreed in Paris to provide $100 billion a year beginning in 2020, from private and public sources, to help developing nations pursue low-carbon development and adapt to climate change impacts.
At the March 8 hearing, Barrasso pressed Heather Higginbottom, deputy secretary of state for management and resources, to explain what legal authority the administration has to move the relatively large sum without congressional direction. Higginbottom was testifying at a Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the State Department's fiscal 2017 budget request.
The $500 million sum was transmitted to the World Bank on March 7, according to Higginbottom, who defended the administration's authority to transmit the money.
“We reviewed the authorities and opportunities available to us to do that and believe we are fully compliant,” she said.
The most recent governmentwide funding bill—an omnibus measure (H.R. 2029) agreed to in December that narrowly avoided a government shutdown—did not include a policy rider Republicans had sought to bar the administration from funding the Green Climate Fund .
In the absence of that language, the administration argues that it essentially has the discretion to find the funding to finance its $3 billion pledge.
In the final budget proposal of his presidency, President Barack Obama requested $1.3 billion for his Global Climate Change Initiative in fiscal 2017, which includes $750 million for the Green Climate Fund .
To contact the reporter on this story: Dean Scott in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at email@example.com
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)