The American Security Project supports the Senate Appropriations Committee’s decision to continue to invest in the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Senators Merkley, Kirk, Collins, Udall, Durbin and Leahy offered an amendment to the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, removing language that blocks funding to the GCF. Appropriating $500 million to the GCF ensures that the U.S. maintains a leadership position in combating the effects of climate change.
Along with a diverse group of organizations, ASP co-signed a letter to the Committee to emphasizing the importance of the GCF in mitigating climate change-related risks.
The U.S. Department of Defense reminds us that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. Our military bases are vulnerable to these risks and will require expensive investments to simply stay above water. Our homeland security is directly threatened by extreme weather events. Climate change will act as a “threat multiplier” that increases the risks of conflict around the world. After major disasters strike, the U.S. military is often the only organization with the logistical capabilities to respond in time in a large enough force to make a difference.
As our national security leaders are assessing where other countries’ climate vulnerabilities lie, and planning for contingency operations, the U.S. Treasury has engaged in the development of the GCF in order to reduce climate vulnerabilities and increase the resources that partner countries can devote to deploying cleaner energy technologies. This is a smart, cost-effective ways to integrate our foreign policy, energy security, and national security goals.
This year’s contribution to the GCF will be a cost-effective because it will address the threats presented by climate change before American troops have to be deployed. This investment will be a continuation of American leadership: last year, the U.S. contributed to the GCF, in 2008, the Bush Administration gave $2 billion of a worldwide $8 billion investment in the Climate Investment Fund, a predecessor to this fund.
The GCF will use public and private financing to help poor countries adapt to climate change and to invest in clean, low-emissions energy resources. It is a critical component of the Paris Climate Agreement.
As the U.S. continues to tackle climate change, we will strengthen our national security, and increase our global influence through deft exercise of diplomacy. We know that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – it is simply good risk management. Thank you to Senators Merkley, Kirk, Collins, Udall, Durbin and Leahy for their support, and ASP will look forward to the final passage on the Senate floor and in the fall.