WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement Tuesday after the State Department announced the United States would be contributing $500 million to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), an international grant and financing program designed to assist least developing countries in combatting and adapting to climate change:
“President Obama and Secretary Kerry have worked tirelessly to restore the world’s faith and trust in American climate diplomacy leadership. Critical to restoring the confidence of our friends and allies has been the ambitious commitments the administration has made on climate change and, more importantly, following through on those promises. The United States’ support for the Green Climate Fund last year and this year are critical to strengthening this fund and helping it reach its tremendous potential.
“The GCF is already supporting projects in 27 countries across the world, making them more secure from the effects of climate change. Protecting vulnerable populations, natural resources, and critical infrastructure from climate change helps improve regional security around the world, which in turn greatly improves U.S. national security and global stability. In addition to its ability to lower climate risks around the world and help vulnerable nations adapt to a changing environment, the GCF supports the deployment of clean energy solutions that in turn reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Fund is a comprehensive, invaluable, win-win tool for humanity.
“In the new Congress, and with the incoming administration, I will continue to press for sustained, strengthened U.S. leadership to combat climate change – it’s the right thing to do from a scientific, leadership, and moral perspective. President-elect Trump and the Congressional Republican leadership should not underestimate how seriously the world takes the existential threat of climate change, nor how closely they are watching our actions and our inactions.”