GOP trying to scuttle Paris climate deal

Can the U.S. effectively help negotiate a global climate deal with the GOP working against U.S. interests at every turn?

Subversive actions may limit President Obama’s options during upcoming talks

Staff Report

Widespread global support — including in the United States — won’t stop Republicans in Congress from trying to scuttle the deal, even if it means acting subversively, against the interest of the American people and against President Barack Obama.

Politico, and other news sources, have reported that GOP political operatives are telling foreign governments that Congress will try to block efforts to pay for U.S. contributions to the climate change mitigation and adaption fund, a key part of any global deal to try and limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius.Not surprisingly, the attempt to undermine the U.S. negotiating position at the upcoming COP21 climate talks in Paris are spearheaded by coal industry flaks associated with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, an avid backer of the fossil fuel industry.

The GOP lobbyists are giving foreign governments inaccurate information about President Obama’s authority to join an international climate agreement as a way of trying to block such a deal before it’s even made.

Republicans in Congress claim they won’t won’t ratify any deal that includes cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and are aiming specifically to try and tie the president’s hands when it comes to helping fund the U.S. portion of the Green Climate Fund. The fund will provide $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poor countries make the transition to clean-energy technologies, adapt to climate change, and compensate them for climate harms.

Congressional Republicans say they will deny Obama’s spending request for a $500 million down payment on the initial $3 billion he promised for the fund.

Republicans have also been challenging Obama’s domestic climate efforts at every turn, trying to undermine his negotiating authority in Paris. Just hours after Pope Francis challenged Congress to take “courageous actions” to tackle climate change, House Republicans took up a bill to block the government from measuring the carbon dioxide emissions from construction projects.


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