Obama sends $500m to Green Climate Fund that Trump threatened to cut

The State Department announced the payment Tuesday

Justin Carissimo
New York
@JstnMchl
Wednesday 18 January 2017 05:37
US President Barack Obama speaks during his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.
US President Barack Obama speaks during his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

Three days before leaving the White House, President Barack Obama sent a $500 million check Tuesday to the Green Climate Fund, an international organization designed to help poor countries adopt clean energy technologies.

Today's check is the second payment from the Obama administration, marking a total of $1 billion in contributions to help developing nations cope with the threat of climate change, the State Department said in a statement.

The Green Climate Fund is a part of the $3 billion pledge made by President Obama back in 2014, which helped bring together pieces of last year’s Paris Climate Change act. It's projected to reach $200 billion by 2020 thanks to public and private donations.

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“The Green Climate Fund is a critical tool that helps catalyze billions of dollars in public and private investment in countries dealing not only with the challenges of climate change, but the immense economic opportunities that are embedded in the transition to a lower carbon economy,” Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters at a briefing Tuesday.

“The United States is pleased to have played a leading role in the establishment of the GCF.”

However, President-elect Donald Trump, who has called climate change a "hoax," campaigned on the promise to cancel future payments to the organization’s fund and redirect them toward projects within the country. He’ll also have Congressional Republicans on his side, who’ve condemned this type of spending in the past.


Meanwhile, supporters of environmental fund applauded the State Department's donation. “This contribution shows that even as we face an incoming Administration that engages in dangerous climate denial, those of us in the United States who believe in taking action to save our planet, our economy, and our future will continue doing everything in our power to move forward,” Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, a Democrat, said in a statement.

“I am glad that other countries are continuing to take this challenge seriously and that we can continue to work together to fight climate change.”