Center for American Progress: The Debt Deal and Budget Process Threaten Critical Climate Aid Funding

Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–September 13, 2011.  Today the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction convened the hearing “The History and Drivers of Our Nation’s Debt and Its Threats,” discussing ways to lower the deficit, a process that has put critical international climate aid funding in jeopardy. The Center for American Progress released “The Debt Deal and Budget Process Threaten Critical Climate Aid Funding: Shortsighted Budget Conversations Mean Cuts to Climate Assistance, Humanitarian Aid, and Disaster Response, outlining how the deal and budget negotiations could affect climate assistance and CAP’s proposals for appropriate U.S. funding going forward. 

In the absence of a binding international climate treaty, the flow of climate finance is necessary for keeping parties at the table. But the United States’ ability to meet our climate aid goals is endangered by shortsighted vision as evidenced by the debt deal and ongoing budget process. Super committee members, however, can use this task to shape a conversation about creating solutions for long-term problems and create revenue generators for international climate assistance without a filibuster-proof 60-vote threshold, which is needed to pass legislation in the Senate.

In a Center for American Progress report, “The U.S. Role in International Climate Finance,” with the Alliance for Climate Protection with analysis by Climate Advisors and Project Catalyst, we recommend a blueprint for a “ramp-up” period of international climate investment. The report provided an analysis of how much money from developed countries would be needed in the ramp-up period to 2020 to achieve concrete objectives that will help developing countries develop sustainably. The report outlines new mitigation and adaptation goals sector by sector and specifies the increases in public and private investment necessary to achieve them.

During the ramp-up period, the United States should aspire to provide 20 percent of the total funded through a mix of public and private sources. For public funding, this would be $3 billion in 2013 and $5 billion in 2015. Development bank lending and private financing also will play significant roles in providing international climate-change-related funding, as well as carbon markets in countries with cap-and-trade systems.

A second international climate finance commitment period will position the United States and other developed countries to work with developing countries to achieve emissions reductions. It will also yield multifaceted benefits for the United States, including boosting economic growth through job creation and cost savings.

To read the full column, click here.