With mere days before President-elect Donald Trump takes office, President Barack Obama has made one final move to help tackle climate change. The U.S. Department of State announced yesterday they’ve given a $500 million grant to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). That $500 million is just part of a $3 billion commitment, one many people fear Trump won’t honor.
The GCF enjoyed worldwide support from 194 governments when it was founded back in 2010 to help developing countries reduce emissions and adjust to climate change, and fight a global temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius. In 2014 the United States committed to investing $3 billion to the fund. The new $500 million adds to an additional $500 million granted last year, leaving America still $2 billion short of their pledge even as a climate change denier is slated to take office.
Trump said he’d defund global climate action, including the GCF, during his campaign; the GCF is helping carry out the Paris agreement. However, it doesn’t matter if Trump blusters over this $500 million – he’s not getting it back. President Obama was able to dodge a Republican-filled Congress to send the money to GCF by using executive power to draw the money from the state department.
A movement of almost 100,000 people called for the president to transfer the full $2.5 billion to the GCF, but leaders of the movement are still calling the $500 million a victory. Tamar Lawrence-Samuel, Associate Research Director for Corporate Accountability International, told The Guardian, “The Obama administration is refusing to let President-elect Trump’s posse of oil barons and climate deniers dictate how the world responds to the climate crisis. This victory is the climate justice movement’s opening salvo to the Trump presidency. And we’re not going away.”