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COP 21 Agreement

Edward A. Reid Jr.
Posted On:
Jul 5, 2016 at 10:54 AM
Climate Change

The Obama Administration insisted that the Agreement reached at the conclusion of COP 21 in Paris, France not be legally binding on the parties because of the near-absolute certainty that the US Senate would not ratify the Agreement as a treaty; and, because of the very limited likelihood that the Congress would appropriate the anticipated level of funding which would have been required by the UN Clean Energy Fund.

The US has reportedly pledged $3 billion of the ~$10 billion currently pledged to the UN Green Climate Fund, with the stipulation that the US pledge not exceed 30% of the total funds pledged. The COP 21 Agreement calls for funding from a “floor” of $100 billion per year, beginning in 2020, apparently in perpetuity. The Group of 77 + China have stated that the $100 billion is insufficient and must be increased substantially.  Assuming that the US maintains its 30% stipulation, the US would be expected to pledge ~$30 billion per year, or more, to the Green Climate Fund.

The current US pledge of $3 billion is to be provided over a period of 4 years; and, it is not certain whether it is intended to be “new money”, or funds reallocated from other appropriations. However, meeting the expected US share of the $100 billion per year would require a new congressional appropriation, which is highly unlikely in the current Congress. That appropriation would have to be funded by a new tax, such as a carbon tax, which would have to be adjusted upward “Progressively”, as CO2 emissions declined, to maintain the pledged funding stream.

There is currently very little definition regarding the criteria to be used to determine allocations from the UN Green Climate Fund. Much of the funding would likely be distributed to known kleptocracies; and, predictably, very little of the funding would actually reach the citizens of those kleptocracies purportedly adversely impacted by climate change. Based on the UN’s history, in which the Iraq “Oil for Food” program degenerated into the Iraq “Oil for Palaces, Payloads and Payoffs” program, a high percentage of the $100 billion per year would likely be consumed by waste, fraud and abuse.