Senators to Pres. Obama: No International Climate Funding without Senate Approval

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Multilateral International Development, Multilateral Institutions, and International Economic, Energy, and Environmental Policy, led a group of 37 senators in sending a letter to President Obama pledging that any international climate agreement with a binding timetable and targets on emissions, as well as U.S. taxpayer funding, must be brought before Congress for approval.

The Obama administration agreed to help raise $100 billion annually in funding for developing nations as part of the Green Climate Fund. The target for the upcoming COP21 Conference was to raise an initial $10 billion.

In the letter, the senators highlight how President Obama has unilaterally pledged $3 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds to the Green Climate Fund without the consent of Congress. Congress has never authorized funding for the Green Climate Fund.

We therefore request that you direct United States Special Envoy Todd Stern to be forthcoming with his foreign counterparts representing developing nations in Paris about the views of members of Congress. He must provide these nations with the full picture of where a co-equal U.S. branch of government stands on these issues. He must explain that Congress will not be forthcoming with these funds in the future without a vote in the Senate on any final agreement as required in the U.S. Constitution,” the senators wrote.

In addition to Senators Barrasso and Inhofe, the letter was signed by Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Thom Tillis (R-NC), John Cornyn (R-TX), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Mike Lee (R-UT), John Thune (R-SD), Jim Risch (R-ID), Richard Burr (R-NC), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), John McCain (R-AZ), Steve Daines (R-MT), Rand Paul (R-KY), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ted Cruz (R-TX), John Boozman (R-AR), David Vitter (R-LA), Dan Coats (R-IN), Pat Roberts (R-KS), David Perdue (R-GA), James Lankford (R-OK), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and Tim Scott (R-SC).

To read the full text of the letter, click here.