The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns joined a coalition of organizations in signing the following letter to congressional leaders urging them to provide robust finance in Fiscal Year 2022 for international programs which address the climate crisis.
September 15, 2021
Dear Chairwoman DeLauro and Chairman Leahy:
On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of our faith-based, development, environmental, and business organizations, we urge you to support increased funding in the final FY2022 appropriations legislation to support foreign assistance, including international investments to address the causes and consequences of climate change. We strongly urge you to support providing the subcommittee with a 302(b) allocation for Fiscal Year 2022 of at least $69.1 billion to support critical development goals and dedicating at least $3.3 billion of that account for direct climate change programs as a step towards significantly increased international climate finance. We further request that this climate financing not be double counted against programs that deliver climate co-benefits.
An increased allocation for the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related programs is critical to support programs for addressing climate change, conflict prevention, democracy and human rights, development, education, gender equality, global health, humanitarian assistance, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, global conservation, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
We have a limited window to tackle the climate crisis, with the need for decisive action this decade to keep open the possibility of holding global temperature rise below 2.7°F (1.5°C). Strategic investments to help developing countries speed-up the transition towards zero-carbon economies and to protect tropical and intact forests, and other critical carbon-rich ecosystems is essential to delivering the necessary global emissions cuts we need this decade. At the same time, the poorest and most vulnerable in the world – who have contributed the least to the problem – are already facing devastating impacts from climate change. These individuals and communities need scaled-up support to build more resilience to increasingly damaging climate impacts. Robust international climate funding of this magnitude represents less than 0.06% of the federal budget, but scaling-up this funding will provide critical climate protections for Americans, support the most vulnerable around the world, and speed-up global emissions reductions.
Specifically, this funding should support efforts to: implement climate resilient solutions in the most vulnerable countries already affected by climate change; deploy zero carbon technology to help countries leapfrog to low carbon economies; reduce emissions from tropical deforestation; and expand nature-based and natural climate solutions. In particular, we urge that you dedicate the following funding for each account and line item:
• Bilateral economic assistance - environmental programs of at least:
- Adaptation: $300 million – as a critical step towards having this funding account for 50 percent of U.S. international climate finance;
- Renewable Energy: $354.2 million – with this investment targeted at sustainable zero carbon technologies and strategies;
- Sustainable Landscapes: $232.3 million – with this being dedicated funding to halt deforestation and forest degradation, promote sustainable and responsible land management and forestry practices, and prevent illegal logging separate from USAID’s “Biodiversity Programs” and U.S. State Department & USAID’s “Combatting Wildlife Trafficking” Programs;
• Green Climate Fund (GCF): We note and appreciate the support of over 90 members of the House, led by Congressman Espaillat and others, for a $4 billion appropriation for the GCF. At a minimum, $2 billion to fulfill the outstanding U.S. commitment this year is a needed first step. Ultimately, it is essential that the U.S. begin building towards a new commitment of $6 billion, which would bring the U.S. in step with other key contributors who doubled their contributions from the first replenishment.
• Adaptation Fund: at least $100 million – as a critical new investment to provide $400 million over four years to this fund dedicated to adaptation support in the most vulnerable countries;
• Least Developed Country Fund (LDCF): at least $51 million – with dedicated funding to support the poorest countries in the world;
• UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): at least $21 million – to support the UN’s climate diplomacy and science bodies;
• Montreal Protocol Multilateral Fund (MLF): at least $64 million – to support spurring implementation of the Kigali Amendment to phase-down super pollutant greenhouse gas emissions; and
• Global Environment Facility (GEF): at least $149.3 million – to support critical global investments in clean energy innovation and deployment, resilience and adaptation, and global conservation of forests and other carbon-rich ecosystems.
It is also important to detail what scarce resources won’t be dedicated to. Towards that end, we urge you to:
• Restrict international subsidies for fossil fuel finance: As a first step, it is long past time to eliminate the “Ex-Im rider” from 2015, which is a black eye on America’s leadership to shift from dirty to clean energy.
Investing in climate change solutions internationally clearly benefits the American people. Strengthening countries’ capacities to protect tropical and intact forests will directly help the U.S. by substantially lowering global warming pollution while also preventing illegal timber trade and helping to stop the spillover of new zoonotic diseases to humans that can cause pandemics. Accelerating deployment of U.S. clean energy technologies including renewable energy and energy efficiency will help achieve a low carbon pathway to global economic development and at the same time increase American jobs and exports in this sector. Investing in appropriate technology and expertise in communities in developing countries to counter the negative impacts from climate change that they disproportionately face, can enhance U.S. national security by addressing the root causes of instability arising from more severe and frequent weather hazards, decreased agricultural production and food insecurity, and increased water scarcity.
These investments are also key to building credibility and influence so that the U.S. can unlock more ambitious climate action from other countries, delivering benefits at home and abroad. At present, U.S. climate finance contributions are significantly behind that of other countries, which risks undercutting American efforts to maintain global influence.
After four years of climate denial, and a history of insufficient action, the United States must step up and do its fair share to address climate change, both by reducing its own emissions and by providing increased assistance to the least developed and most vulnerable countries in their own efforts to address climate change and its impacts.
We stand ready to assist you in ensuring that these resources achieve the goals outlined above, and to drive home the message that U.S. international investments are in support of America’s own interests.
Bank Information Center
Businesses for a Livable Climate
CA Businesses for a Livable Climate
Call to Action Colorado
Care About Climate
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)
Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
Church World Service
Clean Energy Action
Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life
CO Businesses for a Livable Climate
Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, US Provinces
E3G – Third Generation Environmentalism
Earth Action, Inc.
Elders Climate Action
Empower our Future - Colorado
Environmental Defense Fund
E2 – Environmental Entrepreneurs
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Faiths for Safe Water
Foreign Policy for America
Friends of the Earth U.S.
Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition
I-70/Vasquez Blvd. Superfund CAG
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Interfaith Power & Light
International Council on Environmental Economics and Development
Justice Is Global
League of Conservation Voters (LCV)
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Maryknoll Sisters Eastern Region USA
Mennonite Central Committee U.S.
Montbello Neighborhood Improvement Association
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Wildlife Federation
Natural Resources Defense Council
New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light
Newark Water Coalition
North Range Concerned Citizens
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
Oil Change International
Organized Uplifting Resources & Strategies
Partnership for Policy Integrity
People's Justice Council
Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania
Rachel Carson Council
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Justice Team
Sisters of Saint Francis, Rochester, Minnesota
Small Business Alliance
Spirit of the Sun
System Change Not Climate Change
The B Team
The Climate Group
The Climate Reality Project
The Episcopal Church
The Green House Connection Center
The Nature Conservancy
The United Methodist Church - General Board of Church and Society
Union of Concerned Scientists
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
Unite North Metro Denver
Wall of Women
Wildlife Conservation Society
Win Without War
Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO)
World Wildlife Fund