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house Bill H.R. 1881

Does The U.S. Need To Stop Using Taxpayer Dollars To Fund UN Climate Change Initiatives?

Argument in favor

The President should not be wasting taxpayer money on initiatives that are founded in controversial science. Why should we spend our tax money to advance the United Nations’ global warming agenda?

Argument opposed

Global warming is a pressing issue that affects everyone on the planet. U.S. contributions to the UN’s climate change initiatives benefit everyone, and the generations to come.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedMarch 26th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 1881?

This bill would prohibit all U.S. federal departments and agencies from making financial contributions to two major United Nations (UN) entities that address global climate change:

The Obama administration had nearly doubled the funding received by these agencies from what they were given by the Bush administration to a level of more than $10 million per year.

Impact

Taxpayers, the United Nations, climate change activists and climate change skeptics, federal agencies and departments that might contribute to UN climate change entities.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1881

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) reintroduced this bill from the 114th and 115th Congresses to prohibit any U.S. contributions to fund the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Green Climate Fund (GCF)

“A nice name doesn’t camouflage the fact that these entities are fraught with waste and fraud, and engaged in dubious science. My bill will stop this egregious abuse of taxpayer dollars and prevent American taxpayers from footing the bill for these programs.”

When he introduced this bill in the 114th Congress in response to President Obama's $3 billion dollar pledge to the UN's Green Climate Fund, Rep. Luetkemeyer argued this bill was needed to bar the use of taxpayer dollars for "the U.N.’s global warming schemes":

“For far too long, American tax dollars have been sent to the United Nations to produce controversial science and feel-good conferences. Now the president is pledging to pony up billions more to implement these ill-gotten policies. American taxpayers should not foot the bill for an unelected organization that is fraught with waste.”

In 2017, Marlo Lewis Jr., a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, argued that the GCF should never have been funded because the U.S. Framework Convention on Climate Change, which established the GCF, accepted the "State of Palestine" as a signatory to the treaty. U.S. law forbids any taxpayer dollars being sent to international organizations that recognize Palestine as a sovereign state — therefore, Lewis argues: 

"[D]efunding the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change is something current law actually requires because the U.N. framework convention is not just a treaty but the organization that administers that treaty, and under U.S. law, any U.N. agency that recognizes Palestine as a state or grants statehood status to any non-state actor is barred from receiving any money from federal agencies. The United States did this with [the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization], for example, when [UNESCO] admitted the Palestinian Authority as a state, and so the United States no longer makes contributions to UNESCO. This law is not in any way referenced in this bill, and since the bill doesn’t really explain its rationale, it’s hard to know whether that entered into [Luetkemeyer’s] thinking at all.”

The World Resources Institute's Joe Thwaites argues that U.S. support of international climate finance is necessary. He argues: 

"International climate finance brings clear benefits, not just by helping recipient countries pursue sustainable development, but also closer to home, by boosting demand for U.S. clean tech exports and expertise and addressing root causes of national security threats."

This bill doesn't have any cosponsors in the 116th Congress. In the 115th Congress, it had 16 Republican cosponsors and didn't receive a committee vote. When it was first introduced in the 114th Congress, it had 19 Republican cosponsors and also didn't receive a committee vote.


Of Note: The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was established with the aim of channeling funds to aid developing countries in implementing greener climate policies. The money raised will go towards helping developing countries curb their carbon emissions and develop better infrastructure to deal with the effects of climate change.

The U.S. is already behind in its contributions to the GCF. President Obama pledged $3 billion to the fund in 2014 but was only able to deliver $1 billion before leaving office. Trump has opposed further funding, and the 2019 fiscal year budget doesn't have any funding for the GCF. Likewise, the FY 2019 budget also doesn't have dedicated money for the IPCC and UNFCCC — instead, there's a $10 million budget line for a variety of UN Environmental Programs, from which the UNFCCC and IPCC will likely receive some funding.

Other major contributors to the fund include Japan, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, and Belgium.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Flickr user John Gillespie

AKA

To prohibit United States contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Green Climate Fund.

Official Title

To prohibit United States contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Green Climate Fund.

    Climate change is real and we need international support of climate trends and changes to avoid humanitarian disasters. The delusional yam in charge needs to be removed for this best to happen but for now this is the best solution.
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    No. America should take the lead on mitigating the negative impacts that industrialization has on our planet. In fact, industrial countries of the North Divide, notably America, are responsible for creating most all of the human activities that have caused global warming and other associated environmental issues to date. Developing industries in China, India and other states of the South Divide are now playing catch-up due to globalization and in doing so are doing so with poor education, technology, and regulations. Environmental issues are regional and global problems; they do not stop at borders - lest we forget Chernobyl.
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    This is a threat of life and death for the world. We need every resource on board.
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