Four Senate Republicans called on President Barack Obama to end funding intended to help poor nations adapt to the effects of climate change.
Citing the U.S. debt and questions over the accuracy of reports on the impacts of global warming, U.S. Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming today said Obama shouldn’t transfer billions of taxpayer dollars “to developing nations in the name of climate change,” according to a statement.
Barrasso made the request in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also signed by Senators James Inhofe of Oklahoma, David Vitter of Louisiana and George Voinovich of Ohio. The letter was timed to coincide with United Nations climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, where adaptation aid is among the topics under discussion.
The lawmakers pointed to the outcome of the Nov. 2 elections as reflecting Americans’ concerns about government deficit spending and a U.S. national debt exceeding $13.6 trillion.
“We simply cannot afford any new massive spending programs with such debt owed by America’s future generations,” the senators said.
The climate talks in Cancun through Dec. 10 are seeking agreement on incremental steps, such as adaptation funding, after last year’s failure at meetings in Copenhagen to agree on a new binding international accord to cut heat-trapping greenhouse-gas pollution.
The European Union, Japan and the U.S. said they’ve channeled a total of $9.9 billion in climate aid to developing countries this year, fulfilling pledges made a year ago at UN global warming talks in Copenhagen.The U.S. this year earmarked $1.7 billion in funding, according to U.S. delegation chief Jonathan Pershing.
The payments are contributions to $30 billion of “fast- start” funding promised last year to developing countries by industrialized ones for the three years through 2012. Developed nations pledged to ramp up funding to $100 billion a year by 2020.
Barrasso said Americans are concerned about jobs and the deficit and “if the administration is serious about listening to the American people, they will cancel this international climate bailout.”
Several findings in UN climate-change reports that forecast more extreme storms and flooding due to higher sea levels “were found to be exaggerated or simply not true,” Barrasso said.
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