Senate Appropriations Committee Disappoints Again on Climate Funding

The Senate Appropriations Committee this week voted 16 to 14 to restore funding for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Republican Senators Susan Collins (ME) and Lamar Alexander (TN) joined 14 Democrats voting in favor of Senator Jeff Merkley’s (D-OR) amendment to the State Department’s appropriations bill to transfer $10 million from development aid to the two UN climate agencies.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (WV) and 13 Republicans voted against the amendment. President Trump’s budget requested zero funding for the two agencies.

It is not clear why the two UN climate programs need federal funding. Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, in June pledged $15 million to the UNFCCC Secretariat to make up for the Trump zero budget request. 

An amendment to add $750 million for the UNFCCC’s Green Climate Fund offered by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) was defeated by the Republican majority.