International Climate Change Financing: The Green Climate Fund (GCF) [November 17, 2014]   [open pdf - 288KB]

"Over the past several decades, the United States has delivered financial and technical assistance for climate change activities in the developing world through a variety of bilateral and multilateral programs. The United States and other industrialized countries committed to such assistance through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC, Treaty Number: 102-38, 1992), the Copenhagen Accord (2009), and the UNFCCC Cancun Agreements (2010), wherein the higher-income countries pledged jointly up to $30 billion in 'fast start' climate financing for lower-income countries for the period 2010-2012, and a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020. […] One potential mechanism for mobilizing a share of the proposed international climate financing is the UNFCCC Green Climate Fund (GCF). […] The fund aims to assist developing countries in their efforts to combat climate change through the provision of grants and other concessional financing for mitigation and adaptation projects, programs, policies, and activities. […] The Obama Administration announced a pledge of $3 billion over four years during the G-20 [Group of Twenty] meetings in Australia on November 15, 2014. Notwithstanding these financial pledges, some operational details remain to be clarified. […] The U.S. Congress--through its role in authorizations, appropriations, and oversight--would have significant input on U.S. participation in the GCF. Congress regularly determines and gives guidance to the allocation of foreign aid between bilateral and multilateral assistance as well as among the variety of multilateral mechanisms. In the past, Congress has raised concerns regarding the cost, purpose, direction, efficiency, and effectiveness of the UNFCCC and existing international institutions of climate financing. Potential authorizations and appropriations for the GCF may rest with several committees, including the U.S. House of Representatives Committees on Foreign Affairs, Financial Services, and Appropriations, and the U.S. Senate Committees on Foreign Relations and Appropriations. Appropriations for foreign aid are generally provided through the U.S. Administration's State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs 150 account."

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CRS Report for Congress, R41889
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