WASHINGTON  – Eighty-five faith-based, development, environmental, and business groups today urged congressional appropriators to provide at least $3.3 billion in U.S. support for international programs addressing the climate crisis.

The groups call on congressional leaders to make international climate finance a key part of a Fiscal Year 22 foreign assistance allocation of at least $69.1 billion to support critical development goals, devoting $3.3 billion to climate finance.

In a letter to key House and Senate appropriators, the groups, representing millions of people in the U.S., say that the U.S. share of climate finance should support the international community’s efforts to promote climate resiliency in the most vulnerable countries already affected by climate change; deploy zero carbon technology to help countries leapfrog to low carbon economies; reduce emissions from tropical deforestation; and expand nature-based and natural climate solutions.

In their letter, which outlines specific proposed spending for U.S. international climate finance programs, the groups say:

“Investing in climate change solutions internationally clearly benefits the American people. Strengthening countries’ capacities to protect tropical and intact forests will directly help the U.S. by substantially lowering global warming pollution while also preventing illegal timber trade and helping to stop the spillover of new zoonotic diseases to humans that can cause pandemics.

“These investments are also key to building credibility and influence so that the U.S. can unlock more ambitious climate action from other countries, delivering benefits at home and abroad. At present, U.S. climate finance contributions are significantly behind that of other countries, which risks undercutting American efforts to maintain global influence.”

The full text of the letter follows.

September 15, 2021

The Honorable Rosa DeLauro

Chairwoman

Committee on Appropriations

U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Patrick Leahy

Chairman
Committee on Appropriations

U.S. Senate

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairwoman DeLauro and Chairman Leahy:

On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of our faith-based, development, environmental, and business organizations, we urge you to support increased funding in the final FY2022 appropriations legislation to support foreign assistance, including international investments to address the causes and consequences of climate change. We strongly urge you to support providing the subcommittee with a 302(b) allocation for Fiscal Year 2022 of at least $69.1 billion to support critical development goals and dedicating at least $3.3 billion of that account for direct climate change programs as a step towards significantly increased international climate finance. We further request that this climate financing not be double counted against programs that deliver climate co-benefits.

An increased allocation for the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related programs is critical to support programs for addressing climate change, conflict prevention, democracy and human rights, development, education, gender equality, global health, humanitarian assistance, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, global conservation, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).[1]

We have a limited window to tackle the climate crisis, with the need for decisive action this decade to keep open the possibility of holding global temperature rise below 2.7°F (1.5°C). Strategic investments to help developing countries speed-up the transition towards zero-carbon economies and to protect tropical and intact forests, and other critical carbon-rich ecosystems is essential to delivering the necessary global emissions cuts we need this decade. At the same time, the poorest and most vulnerable in the world – who have contributed the least to the problem – are already facing devastating impacts from climate change. These individuals and communities need scaled-up support to build more resilience to increasingly damaging climate impacts. Robust international climate funding of this magnitude represents less than 0.06% of the federal budget, but scaling-up this funding will provide critical climate protections for Americans, support the most vulnerable around the world, and speed-up global emissions reductions.

Specifically, this funding should support efforts to: implement climate resilient solutions in the most vulnerable countries already affected by climate change; deploy zero carbon technology to help countries leapfrog to low carbon economies; reduce emissions from tropical deforestation; and expand nature-based and natural climate solutions. In particular, we urge that you dedicate the following funding for each account and line item:[2], [3]

  • Bilateral economic assistance – environmental programs of at least:
    • Adaptation: $300 million – as a critical step towards having this funding account for 50 percent of U.S. international climate finance;
    • Renewable Energy: $354.2 million – with this investment targeted at sustainable zero carbon technologies and strategies;
    • Sustainable Landscapes: $232.3 million – with this being dedicated funding to halt deforestation and forest degradation, promote sustainable and responsible land management and forestry practices, and prevent illegal logging separate from USAID’s “Biodiversity Programs” and U.S. State Department & USAID’s “Combatting Wildlife Trafficking” Programs;
  • Green Climate Fund (GCF): We note and appreciate the support of over 90 members of the House, led by Congressman Espaillat and others, for a $4 billion appropriation for the GCF. At a minimum, $2 billion to fulfill the outstanding U.S. commitment this year is a needed first step. Ultimately, it is essential that the U.S. begin building towards a new commitment of $6 billion, which would bring the U.S. in step with other key contributors who doubled their contributions from the first replenishment.
  • Adaptation Fund: at least $100 million – as a critical new investment to provide $400 million over four years to this fund dedicated to adaptation support in the most vulnerable countries;
  • Least Developed Country Fund (LDCF): at least $51 million – with dedicated funding to support the poorest countries in the world;
  • UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): at least $21 million – to support the UN’s climate diplomacy and science bodies;
  • Montreal Protocol Multilateral Fund (MLF): at least $64 million – to support spurring implementation of the Kigali Amendment to phase-down super pollutant greenhouse gas emissions; and
  • Global Environment Facility (GEF): at least $149.3 million – to support critical global investments in clean energy innovation and deployment, resilience and adaptation, and global conservation of forests and other carbon-rich ecosystems.  

It is also important to detail what scarce resources won’t be dedicated to. Towards that end, we urge you to:

  • Restrict international subsidies for fossil fuel finance: As a first step, it is long past time to eliminate the “Ex-Im rider” from 2015, which is a black eye on America’s leadership to shift from dirty to clean energy.[4]

Investing in climate change solutions internationally clearly benefits the American people. Strengthening countries’ capacities to protect tropical and intact forests will directly help the U.S. by substantially lowering global warming pollution while also preventing illegal timber trade and helping to stop the spillover of new zoonotic diseases to humans that can cause pandemics. Accelerating deployment of U.S. clean energy technologies including renewable energy and energy efficiency will help achieve a low carbon pathway to global economic development and at the same time increase American jobs and exports in this sector. Investing in appropriate technology and expertise in communities in developing countries to counter the negative impacts from climate change that they disproportionately face, can enhance U.S. national security by addressing the root causes of instability arising from more severe and frequent weather hazards, decreased agricultural production and food insecurity, and increased water scarcity.

These investments are also key to building credibility and influence so that the U.S. can unlock more ambitious climate action from other countries, delivering benefits at home and abroad. At present, U.S. climate finance contributions are significantly behind that of other countries, which risks undercutting American efforts to maintain global influence.

After four years of climate denial, and a history of insufficient action, the United States must step up and do its fair share to address climate change, both by reducing its own emissions and by providing increased assistance to the least developed and most vulnerable countries in their own efforts to address climate change and its impacts.

We stand ready to assist you in ensuring that these resources achieve the goals outlined above, and to drive home the message that U.S. international investments are in support of America’s own interests.

Sincerely,

ActionAid USA

Anthropocene Alliance

Bank Information Center

Brighter Green

Businesses for a Livable Climate

CA Businesses for a Livable Climate

Call to Action Colorado

Care About Climate

CatholicNetwork US

Center for Biological Diversity

Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)

Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)

Ceres

Church World Service

Clean Energy Action

Climate Advisers

Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life

CO Businesses for a Livable Climate

Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, US Provinces

Conservation International

E3G – Third Generation Environmentalism

Earth Action, Inc.

EcoEquity

Elders Climate Action

Empower our Future – Colorado

Environmental Defense Fund

E2 – Environmental Entrepreneurs

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Evergreen Action

Faiths for Safe Water

Foreign Policy for America

Friends of the Earth U.S.

GASP

Global Citizen

Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition

I-70/Vasquez Blvd. Superfund CAG

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Interfaith Power & Light

International Council on Environmental Economics and Development

JAPRI

Justice Is Global

League of Conservation Voters (LCV)

MADRE

Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Maryknoll Sisters Eastern Region USA

Mennonite Central Committee U.S.

Montbello Neighborhood Improvement Association

National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

National Wildlife Federation

Natural Resources Defense Council

New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light

Newark Water Coalition

North Range Concerned Citizens

Nuclear Information and Resource Service

Ocean Conservancy

Oil Change International

Organized Uplifting Resources & Strategies

Oxfam America

Partnership for Policy Integrity

People’s Justice Council

Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania

Rachel Carson Council

RapidShift Network

Sierra Club

Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Justice Team

Sisters of Saint Francis, Rochester, Minnesota

Small Business Alliance

Spirit of the Sun

System Change Not Climate Change

The B Team

The Climate Group

The Climate Reality Project

The Episcopal Church

The Green House Connection Center

The Nature Conservancy

The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society

Union of Concerned Scientists

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries

Unite North Metro Denver

Wall of Women

Wildlife Conservation Society

Win Without War

Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO)

World Wildlife Fund

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[1] For more details see the multi-organization letter from 57 organizations calling for such an increase.

[2] The President’s budget request includes: $232.3 million for bilateral adaptation funding, $354.2 million for bilateral clean energy funding, and $221.9 million for bilateral sustainable landscapes funding; $1.25 billion for the GCF; $100 million to “multilateral adaptation funds” (specific entities to be determined); $64 million for the Montreal Protocol; $21 million for the UNFCCC/IPCC; $149.3 million for the GEF; and $300 million for the Clean Technology Fund.  

[3] The House Appropriations bill includes: $294.2 million for bilateral adaptation programs, $268.5 million for bilateral renewable energy programs, and $202.5 million for bilateral sustainable landscapes programs; $1.6 billion for the GCF, $64 million for the Montreal Protocol Multilateral Fund; $21 million for the UNFCCC/IPCC; $149.3 million for the GEF; and $200 million for the Clean Technology Fund. 

[4] Sec. 7056 of the ‘‘Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021” states no Ex-IM funding should be provided: “(4) for the enforcement of any rule, regulation, policy, or guidelines implemented pursuant to the Supplemental Guidelines for High Carbon Intensity Projects approved by the Export-Import Bank of the United States on December 12, 2013, when enforcement of such rule, regulation, policy, or guidelines would prohibit, or have the effect of prohibiting, any coal-fired or other power-generation project the purpose of which is to: (A) provide affordable electricity in International Development Association (IDA)-eligible countries and IDA blend countries; and (B) increase exports of goods and services from the United States or prevent the loss of jobs from the United States.” 



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