Cancel global warming payments to the United Nations

“We’re going to put America first. That includes canceling billions in climate change spending for the United Nations."

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Glaciers and ice sheets have suffered from climate change, scientists say. (Wikimedia Commons/Ansgar Walk)
Glaciers and ice sheets have suffered from climate change, scientists say. (Wikimedia Commons/Ansgar Walk)

Budget proposal would cease payments to U.N. climate initiatives

President Donald Trump's 2018 budget blueprint includes a proposal to zero out funding for United Nations climate change programs.

The Trump budget, released March 16, seeks to "eliminate the Global Climate Change Initiative" and "cease payments to the United Nations' (UN) climate change programs by eliminating U.S. funding related to the Green Climate Fund and its two precursor Climate Investment Funds."

The Global Climate Change Initiative integrates U.S. foreign assistance to climate change mitigation efforts. The Green Climate Fund supports developing countries in their efforts to address climate change. Last year, the Obama administration contributed at least $500 million dollars to the Green Climate Fund, part of $3 billion dollars in financial commitments the United States made during the 2015 climate talks in Paris.

Trump said he wants to redirect the money "to provide for American infrastructure, including clean water, clean air, and safety," although the budget does not clarify how that goal might be achieved.

Trump's budget proposal covered federal discretionary spending. It included large cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department and Agriculture Department. The budget included a 10-percent increase in defense spending, and a 7-percent increase in Homeland Security funding. Although Congress writes and passes a budget, a budget blueprint is a proposal of the president's budget priorities.

How much of the president's budget proposal will make it into the final budget isn't clear yet. Last year, a Republican Congress disregarded President Barack Obama's budget proposal. Changes to the budget from the executive branch are possible because the blueprint is partial. For now, we rate Trump's promise to cut climate change funding to the U.N. as In the Works.


Congressional Quarterly, Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump Delivers Remarks at Campaign Event in Warren, Mich, March 26, 2017

Office of Budget and Management, "America First, A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again," March 26, 2017

NPR, Trump's Budget Slashes Climate Change Funding, March 26, 2017

New York Times, Who Wins and Loses in Trump's Proposed Budget, March 26, 2017