Inhofe Statement Calls Out Green Climate Fund Director

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, released the following statement today after Hela Cheikhrouhou, executive director of the United Nations Green Climate Fund, dismissed Republicans' wide opposition to the Obama administration's pledge of $3 billion to developing countries dealing with climate change by saying, “I’m still reasonably optimistic that there is going to be a decision to support [the Green Climate Fund].”

“Nations gathering in Paris should give more credence to Republican Senators, who control whether the Green Climate Fund receives any taxpayer dollars, than the dismissive rhetoric from an unelected U.N. bureaucrat. President Obama has made a pledge, but it is one he cannot deliver on without support from the U.S. Senate. To date, President Obama and his administrative officials have failed to consult Congress on any component of the international negotiations.

“In July, the Senate EPW Committee held a hearing examining the president’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution. Consensus among the panel of experts, including former Sierra Club Climate Counsel, was that the plan simply does not add up and the goal of a 26 to 28 percent greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2025 is not realistic.  In an attempt to engage the administration on these questions, a group of eleven Senators, including myself, sent a letter to President Obama asking how the administration plans to meet the INDC’s goals. We requested a response by July 22, and have yet to receive any acknowledgement of the letter from the administration much less a response.

“This week, Senator Capito’s EPW subcommittee attempted to hold a joint hearing with Senator Barrasso’s Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee to conduct oversight of the ongoing international climate negotiations. However, minority obstruction coupled with a complete disregard for congressional oversight by the Environmental Protection Agency and the White House Council on Environmental Quality prevented the joint hearing from going forward. The administration's tactics of sweeping Republican opposition under the rug in order to appear as though they are leading the way reveals a new level of desperation.   Consistent with previous EPW oversight, the committee plans to hold a full committee hearing with administrative officials on the international climate negotiations in the coming weeks. Invitations to Todd Stern, Christy Goldfuss, and EPA remain. ”


On July 8, Inhofe led ten Senators in a letter to President Obama requesting a detailed response for how the U.S. will plan to meet a pledge of 26-28 percent emissions reduction by 2025, as represented by the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Senators are still awaiting the president’s response.

Also on July 8, Mr. David Bookbinder, former Sierra Club chief climate counsel, testified before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, that the president’s goal would fall dramatically short of meeting the U.S. target of cutting emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

On Feb. 2, Inhofe released a statement on the president’s budget proposal, in which Inhofe said, “I will not support any special funds, including the $500 million for the Green Climate Fund, to further [the president’s] climate agenda that is eroding states’ rights and making it unnecessarily difficult to do business in America.”  Full statement can be read here.

On Nov. 14, 2014, Inhofe released a statement in response to President Obama’s pledge of $3 billion to the U.N. Green Climate Fund.