Trump asks how much green goes to global groups

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Juliet Eilperin and Carol Morello

wash­ing­ton» Don­ald Trump’s pres­i­den­tial tran­si­tion team has asked State Depart­ment of­fi­cials to dis­close how much money it pro­vides each year to in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­men­tal groups. It’s the lat­est ex­am­ple of how the in­com­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion is re­assess­ing the U.S. gov­ern­ment’s ap­proach to tack­ling cli­mate change and other en­vi­ron­men­tal pri­or­i­ties.

As part of a list of ques­tions posed last week to the depart­ment’s Bureau of Oceans and In­ter­na­tional En­vi­ron­men­tal and Sci­en­tific Af­fairs, ac­cord­ing to mul­ti­ple peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter, the Trump land­ing team asked, “How much does the Depart­ment of State con­trib­ute an­nu­ally to in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions in which the depart­ment par­tic­i­pates?”

The in­di­vid­u­als fa­mil­iar with the re­quest spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause tran­si­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tions are con­fi­den­tial.

It is un­clear which spe­cific groups the tran­si­tion team was re­fer­ring to in its ques­tion; a spokesman for the pres­i­dent-elect did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment Mon­day night.

The State Depart­ment has worked ag­gres­sively un­der Pres­i­dent Barack Obama to sup­port in­ter­na­tional ini­tia­tives to cut green­house gas emis­sions linked to cli­mate change, but Trump has vowed to pull back from such ef­forts.

On Nov. 1, Trump said he would “can­cel bil­lions of dol­lars in global warm­ing pay­ments to the United Na­tions” and de­vote that money in­stead to green in­fra­struc­ture projects and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion.

His cam­paign re­leased a pol­icy state­ment that day sug­gest­ing that he would “can­cel all waste­ful cli­mate change spend­ing,” which would in­clude the elim­i­na­tion of all of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic cli­mate pro­grams as well as a roll­back in reg­u­la­tions aimed at cut­ting car­bon emis­sions.

The cam­paign es­ti­mated that these moves would save $100 bil­lion over eight years, al­though it did not re­lease a de­tailed ac­count­ing of how those sav­ings would be gen­er­ated.

As part of the Paris cli­mate agree­ment reached a year ago, the United States pledged to do­nate $3 bil­lion over four years to the Green Cli­mate Fund, a multi­na­tional fund aimed at help­ing poor na­tions adapt to the most se­vere cli­mate im­pacts and de­velop re­new­able sources of en­ergy. So far, the ad­min­is­tra­tion has pro­vided $500 mil­lion to the fund.

The State Depart­ment does spend money on global ef­forts to re­duce green­house gas emis­sions, al­though it is un­clear how much is an­nu­ally bud­geted for such work. Ac­cord­ing to a 2013 Con­gres­sional Re­search Ser­vice re­port, fed­eral spend­ing on cli­mate change ini­tia­tives be­tween fis­cal year 2008 and 2013 to­taled roughly $77 bil­lion. Twothirds of those funds went to de­vel­op­ing car­bon-free tech­nol­ogy and de­ploy­ing those ad­vances, and most of that work was un­der­taken by the En­ergy Depart­ment, rather than State.

The State Depart­ment has not re­sponded to the Trump tran­si­tion team’s ques­tion about its sup­port for in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions, ac­cord­ing to a per­son fa­mil­iar with the re­quest.

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