UN Green Climate Fund’s financials take huge hit during Trump era

By Chris White

President Donald Trump’s decision to stop shoveling money into the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund has dramatically hurt the financial instruments the organization uses to tackle climate change.

The U.S. promised to contribute $3 billion into the fund before Trump moved earlier this year to discontinue payments – it coincides with his decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, that obligates the U.S. cut greenhouse gas emissions 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

Many industrialized nations pledged to generate $100 billion a year for the fund by 2020 to help poorer nations reduce emissions without affecting their economic outputs. The fund has only secured $10.3 billion in financing.

Former President Barack Obama dumped $1 billion into the Green Climate Fund (GCF) before Trump nixed future contributions.

Reports surfaced earlier this year showing Trump would use the Obama administration’s initial donation to the GCF to “advance American-energy interests globally.” The president supports coal and natural gas production because he believes fossil fuels help the American economy.

Activists bemoaned the report. The Sierra Club’s John Coequyt, for instance, said that Trump’s plan to hollow out the fund is akin to “taking the fire department’s budget and using it to pour gasoline on the blaze.”

The earliest the U.S. can begin officially withdrawing from the accord is Nov. 4, 2019, under the terms of the Paris agreement.

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2 thoughts on “UN Green Climate Fund’s financials take huge hit during Trump era

  1. Green Climate Fund: A total of 193 countries signed on to COP21, but that means nothing, unless they agree to do something, to undertake pain. The majority of these countries are underdeveloped and developing countries. They signed on to COP21 in expectation of payments from the Green Climate Fund. Only a few developed countries have made financial contributions to the Green Climate Fund. See below URLs.

    The UN would administer the Fund. As of 17 May 2017, a total of $10.3 billion had been pledged (most not yet paid) to the Fund.

    – EU member states pledged $4.7 billion (UK $1.2 b; France $1.0 b; Germany $1.0 b; Others $1.5 b)
    – US $3.0 billion; already paid $1 billion.
    – Rest of World $2.6 billion (Japan $1.5 b; China $0; India $0; Others $1.1 b). See table in URL.

    The Fund’s initial goal is to distribute to recipient countries $100 billion in 2020, and much more in EACH YEAR thereafter. The US, about 20% of gross world product, likely would be hit up for $25 billion in 2020 (China would not pay, India would get money), and much more in EACH YEAR thereafter. That UN-managed Fund likely would become the mother of all boondoggles.

    No. Thank you, said Trump. He was not about to let the UN do boondoggle projects with US taxpayer money, especially when considering the insufficient outcomes of almost all prior COP events.

    As the world is making so little progress towards RE, the US, “doing its RE part” by staying with COP21, would be engaging in an expensive exercise in futility.

  2. Obama promised $3 billion for the Green Climate Fund, but never received permission from Congress.
    Then, without permission (he did not even bother to ask), he sent $1 billion just before Trump was sworn in.
    Trump, one of his first acts, immediately stopped any more such shenanigans. The remaining $2 billion is safely at the US Treasury to help pay for tax cuts.

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