Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, a member of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee and a new member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after the State Department announced a $500 million contribution to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The GCF is an international multilateral fund that supports low-emission and resilient development in countries that are the most vulnerable to climate change.
“Climate change is a global problem, and the United States must pursue global solutions,” said Merkley. “The Green Climate Fund is exactly the kind of international partnership we need to tackle this major challenge. 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.
“This contribution shows that even as we face an incoming Administration that engages in dangerous climate denial, those of us in the United States who believe in taking action to save our planet, our economy, and our future will continue doing everything in our power to move forward. I am glad that other countries are continuing to take this challenge seriously and that we can continue to work together to fight climate change.”
In 2014, President Obama pledged to the international community that the United States would contribute $3 billion to the GCF over 4 years. In 2015, Merkley and Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) introduced an amendment to eliminate the Republican Congress’s proposed prohibition on contributions to the Green Climate Fund. The Senate Appropriations Committee passed the amendment with bipartisan support. The amendment was then adopted into the Senate’s State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill and ultimately allowed the State Department to make its first contribution of $500 million to the Green Climate Fund in March 2016. Because the Federal Government is operating under a Continuing Resolution, the State Department is able to use this same authority to make this second contribution of $500 million to the Green Climate Fund.
Merkley has been a leading proponent of the Green Climate Fund and of international solutions to take on climate change. In 2015, Merkley attended the Paris climate negotiations and led a bilateral negotiation with Indian officials.