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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