Presbyterian Church USA

Tell Congress to Support the Green Climate Fund

The catastrophic impacts of climate change are growing every year. Though nearly every area of the world has been affected by climate change in some way, countries with fewer resources tend to suffer the most from extreme weather events. For example, droughts in the Horn of Africa over the past few years have led to widespread famine, and flooding in Pakistan left people homeless and contaminated drinking water supplies. Climate change exacerbates existing inequality because countries with more resources are better equipped to respond to disasters like these. 

Through climate finance, wealthy countries and international development banks give money to countries and communities with fewer resources so that they can address climate change. International climate finance takes many forms: money can pass directly from one government to another, or it can be channeled through a multilateral fund. 

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was set up by the United Nations Framework Committee on Climate Change in 2009.  The GCF allocates its funding to developing countries, with a particular focus on least-developed countries and small island nations, which are particularly vulnerable to the changing environment. It is also required to allocate its funds evenly between mitigation projects focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and projects that help communities adapt to climate change. Because of its structure, the GCF often meets the needs of developing countries better than multilateral development banks like the World Bank.  

In 2014, the United States pledged $3 billion to the Green Climate fund. The Obama administration paid the first $1 billion of that amount, but President Trump stopped contributing after taking office. Last month, President Biden announced another $1 billion contribution to the fund, using funds allocated to the State Department to promote stability abroad.  

The U.S. has now fulfilled two-thirds of its initial pledge, but Congress needs to make the rest of the money available. In his FY2024 budget, President Biden asked for $1.6 billion for the GCF. This is the same amount that President Biden requested for the GCF in the FY2023 budget, but Congress slashed that amount to zero. Tell your representatives to fund international climate finance at least at the levels President Biden has requested, including $1.6 billion for the Green Climate Fund.  $1.6 billion is far less than the U.S. should be contributing to the Green Climate Fund, but it would still provide critical funding and ensure the U.S. meets its initial commitment.

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