U.S. Senate Committee Restores Funds to UN Climate Bodies
The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted yesterday to contribute US$10 million to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), after Donald Trump’s budget draft last March stripped funding from the treaty body that oversees the Paris agreement.
The amendment from Sen. Jeff Merkeley (D-OR) passed 16-14, with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) voting against and Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) voting in favour.
Like this story? Subscribe to The Energy Mix and never miss an edition of our free e-digest.
“The president sent us a budget that was irresponsible and indefensible,” said ranking committee Democrat Patrick Leahy (VT). “We were provided no credible justification for the cuts that were proposed, which would have severely eroded U.S. global leadership.”
He added that “underfunding many critical programs—from UN peacekeeping to climate change to humanitarian relief for victims of war and natural disasters—is unacceptable for the world’s wealthiest, most powerful nation.”
Climate Home notes that the U.S. traditionally contributes about 20% to the FCCC secretariat’s operating fund, and delivered 45% of the funding for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2016. This year, a number of other countries “were preparing to step in to fill the funding gap and save the IPCC from plunging into millions of dollars of debt.”
The committee defeated a separate budget amendment that would have restored $750 million to the UN’s Green Climate Fund. The FCCC funds will still be subject to negotiations between the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.