Merkley Leads Successful Amendment to Restore UN Climate Change Funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley today announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee has passed his amendment to the 2018 State and Foreign Operations funding bill, restoring full U.S. funding for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The amendment passed with bipartisan support by a vote of 16-14.

“It’s critical that America has a seat at the table when it comes to international climate policy,” said Merkley. “Climate disruption is the biggest challenge our planet faces in the 21st century, and we can’t afford to be missing in action. While we still have much more work to do to get to the bold climate action we need, today’s vote shows that Democrats and Republicans are prepared to work together to keep America engaged in the international dialogue on climate.”

Merkley’s amendment adds $10 million to the 2018 State and Foreign Operations bill for the UNFCCC and IPCC, bringing funding levels in line with recent U.S. support for those institutions.

The U.S. Senate ratified the UNFCCC in 1992 by a unanimous vote. The U.S. is still a party to the UNFCCC treaty regardless of its status in the Paris Agreement, and part of keeping America’s seat at the table is continuing to contribute these funds to the convention.

The IPCC is a UN entity tasked with assessing the latest climate science, and is the chief global scientific body that assesses the present state of climate science. Its Nobel Prize-winning work is central to our understand of how the climate is changing and why. This amendment continues the United States’ historical level of support for international climate science.

The next steps for the 2018 State and Foreign Operations funding bill would be to be passed by the full Senate, and then combined with the House version of the bill before being passed into law and signed by the President.