U.S. senate defies Trump on climate

A U.S. senate committee has voted to contribute $10 million to the UN’s climate change body that oversees the Paris climate agreement. President Donald Trump’s budget proposal earlier this year stripped funding to UN climate bodies.

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee passed a $51 billion spending bill last week that would restore $10 million in funding to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its science wing, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The UNFCCC overseas the Paris climate agreement.

Introduced by the Democrat senator Jeff Merkely, the amendment passed by 16-14. Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee voted in favour, as did all Democrats in the committee except for Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

In March this year, President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal stripped funding to any mechanism that finances climate change projects in developing countries. This includes UN bodies.

The U.S. has traditionally contributed around 20 per cent of the UNFCCC budget, reported Reuters.

The committee’s ranking Democratic senator Patrick Leahy called the president’s budget request “reckless”, “irresponsible” and “indefensible”.

“We were provided no credible justification for the cuts that were proposed, which would have severely eroded U.S. global leadership,” he said.

A further amendment, which would have allocated $750 million to the UN’s Green Climate Fund, was rejected by the committee, reported Climate Home.

 

Image credit: UNFCCC via Flickr/CC BY 2.0

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