Developing nations are only in the UN climate pact for the cash. What if there is none?
November 19, 2015
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Obama:
With the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris starting at the end of November, leaders and diplomats from around the world will be coming together in an attempt to reach a climate agreement to address global greenhouse gas emissions. As members of the United States Senate, we want to be on record expressing our concerns about the new Green Climate Fund. We also want to reiterate our position that any agreement with binding timetables and targets must be brought before Congress for approval.
We support international dialogue on global environmental problems. We do, however, have serious concerns about the impact any deal reached in Paris will have on the American economy and our international priorities. Our constituents are worried that the pledges you are committing the United States to will strengthen foreign economies at the expense of American workers. They are also skeptical about sending billions of their hard earned dollars to government officials from developing nations.
Your administration agreed to help raise $100 billion annually in funding for developing nations as part of the Green Climate Fund. The target for the Paris Conference was to raise an initial $10 billion. You have unilaterally pledged $3 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds to the Green Climate Fund without the consent of Congress. Congress has never authorized funding for the Green Climate Fund. While the Executive Branch and Congress both play an important role in the foreign policy of our nation, Congress ultimately holds the power of the purse. We pledge that Congress will not allow U.S. taxpayer dollars to go to the Green Climate Fund until the forthcoming international climate agreement is submitted to the Senate for its constitutional advice and consent.
We therefore request that you direct United States Special Envoy Todd Stern to be forthcoming with his foreign counterparts representing developing nations in Paris about the views of members of Congress. He must provide these nations with the full picture of where a co-equal U.S. branch of government stands on these issues. He must explain that Congress will not be forthcoming with these funds in the future without a vote in the Senate on any final agreement as required in the U.S. Constitution.
Senators John Barasso (R-WY), James Inhofe (R-OK), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Thom Tillis (R-NC), John Cornyn (R-TX), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Mike Lee (R-UT), John Thune (R-SD), Jim Risch (R-ID), Richard Burr (R-NC), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), John McCain (R-AZ), Steve Daines (R-MT), Rand Paul (R-KY), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ted Cruz (R-TX), John Boozman (R-AR), David Vitter (R-LA), Dan Coats (R-IN), Pat Roberts (R-KS), David Perdue (R-GA), James Lankford (R-OK), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and Tim Scott (R-SC).