Obama admin injects another $500M into global climate fund

Obama admin injects another $500M into global climate fund
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The Obama administration has made a second $500 million payment into an international climate change adaptation fund, the State Department announced Tuesday.

With the announcement, the Obama administration has now spent $1 billion on the Green Climate Fund (GCF) despite broad GOP opposition to U.S. financing for the fund.

The fund is the driving force behind a United Nations' goal to raise $100 billion to help poor countries adapt to the changing climate and cut their greenhouse gas emissions.

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Obama in 2014 pledged $3 billion for the program by 2020, but he couldn’t get congressional Republicans to agree to the plan.

Congress never appropriated money for the GCF, but lawmakers didn't explicitly block the State Department from finding funding for the program elsewhere in its budget, which is what the Obama administration did to pay for the two $500 million payments.

“The GCF is the world’s largest multilateral finance institution dedicated to advancing low-emission, climate-resilient development,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement Tuesday.

“The GCF was created to help protect vulnerable populations and drive clean energy deployment, all with a special focus on engaging the private sector and mobilizing private capital.”

President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg on Mueller report: 'Politically, I'm not sure it will change much' Sarah Sanders addresses false statements detailed in Mueller report: 'A slip of the tongue' Trump to visit Japan in May to meet with Abe, new emperor MORE opposes President Obama’s climate work and has said he would “stop all payments of the United States tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs.” Senior Republicans on Capitol Hill also oppose the funding, raising doubts about future U.S. payments to the GCF.  

Democrats on Tuesday, though, praised the State Department’s payment to the GCF. 

“These funds will help countries mitigate their climate change impacts and adapt to the devastating droughts, floods, and other weather extremes we are already experiencing,” Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyDurbin calls Mueller report findings on Trump team 'troubling' 20 Dems demand no more money for ICE agents, Trump wall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump, Dems prep for Mueller report's release MORE (D-Vt.), the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said in a statement. "In helping to advance this global effort, it will serve our own national security interests.”

“The Green Climate Fund is exactly the kind of international partnership we need to tackle this major challenge,” Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOnly four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates More than 30 Senate Dems ask Trump to reconsider Central American aid cuts Long-shot goal of nixing Electoral College picks up steam MORE (D-Ore.) said. 

“I thank President Obama for establishing America as a world leader on the frontlines of climate action and taking another major stride toward fulfilling America's $3 billion commitment to the fund.”