Obama administration gives another $500M to U.N.'s Green Climate Fund

By Allen Cone  |  Jan. 18, 2017 at 10:06 AM
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Jan. 18 (UPI) -- The State Department gave $500 million to the U.N. Green Climate Fund just before Donald Trump, who has called global warming a "hoax," takes office.

The outgoing administration announced the contribution Tuesday, which is in addition to the $500 million the United States gave to the fund last year. President Barack Obama originally pledged $3 billion.

The money came from the fiscal year 2016 Economic Support Fund appropriation and helps fund the Paris climate agreement approved by more than 180 nations to cut emissions. The fund's goal is $100 billion by 2020 from public and private funding.

"The GCF is the world's largest multilateral finance institution dedicated to advancing low-emission, climate-resilient development," according to a State Department release. "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."

Trump has threatened to pull the United States out of the accord.

"It's not being done to try to provoke a reaction from the incoming administration or to try to dictate to them one way or the other how they are going to deal with climate issues," John Kirby, the State Department spokesman, said at a media briefing Tuesday. "This is an investment that had been long planned."

Trump, since becoming president-elect, has become more "opened-minded" to the possibility of climate change. He recently met with former Vice President Al Gore to discuss climate change.

"I'm still open-minded. Nobody really knows. Look, I'm somebody that gets it, and nobody really knows. It's not something that's so hard and fast," Trump said last month in an interview on Fox News Sunday.

He named Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who has denied the existence of climate change, as his choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

But other cabinet nominees are more open to climate change.

Rex Tillerson, the former ExxonMobil chief and the president-elect's nominee for secretary of state, said during his Senate confirmation hearing last week that he wants the United States to keep "a seat at the table" on addressing global warming.

And interior secretary nominee Ryan Zinke said Tuesday during his hearing that humans' role in the rise of global temperatures is not yet fully understood.

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