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Senate Appropriations Committee approves UN climate-change funding that Trump had axed
However, when Senate Appropriations passed a bill authorizing $51 billion in spending on the State Department and international operations, it included an amendment to restore funding for the UN climate-change initiatives.
By Kara Menard
Contributor
Jan 15, 2018

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WASHINGTON D.C. — The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a spending bill Thursday that allocates $10 million in funds toward United Nations efforts against climate change, despite President Trump's prior decision to stop funding them. The funds would support the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC, the UN body that oversees the Paris climate agreement and other international climate accords; and the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The United States has been contributing to the UNFCC since the body's creation in 1992 and accounts for 20% of its budget, but Trump officially ended the U.S. contributions this year. And in his 2018 budget proposal to Congress several months ago, Trump expressly eliminated financing of climate change-related initiatives in developing countries and international organizations.

However, when Senate Appropriations passed a bill authorizing $51 billion in spending on the State Department and international operations, it included an amendment to restore funding for the UN climate-change initiatives. The measure passed 16-14, with all Democrats except Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) voting in favor. Republican senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) also voted for the measure.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) was the amendment's author. He tweeted after the bill's passage Thursday: "Despite @RealDonaldTrump's dangerous #ParisAgreement decision & unwillingness to act, we can & will fight back to combat #climatedisruption."

The funding is not guaranteed yet, however. The House is voting on its own version of the funding bill, and the House one does not fund UN climate-change efforts. The two houses will have to negotiate the two versions to arrive at one finalized bill.