President-elect’s transition team reportedly asked for a full disclosure of the annual global warming spending from the U.S. State Department. Donald Trump is seemingly poised to honor his campaign promise to trim the ‘wasteful’ spending and save up to $100 billion in tax dollars.
People familiar with the matter said the team wants to know, among others, how much funding the department provides to international environmental organizations, including those under the U.N.’s umbrella.
On Monday, Trump’s landing team declined to comment on the disclosures. So, it remains unclear which groups the team is targeting. Under the Obama administration, the State Department poured billions of dollars into programs designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
A week before the Election Day, Trump said he would strip the Unite Nations off billions of dollars in climate change payments. He also vowed to redirect the funds to environmentally-friendly infrastructures and U.S. environmental groups.
On Nov. 1, his campaign issued a policy statement signed by Trump in which he pledged to undo “all wasteful climate change spending.” The plan includes dismantling all of the U.S.’ domestic and international projects to fight climate change. It also means many regulations that cap carbon emissions could be reversed.
The billionaire’s camp estimated the measures would save $100 billion by Jan 2025. However, they failed to provide a detailed plan on how these savings could be achieved.
Last year, the federal government vowed to giveaway $3 billion by 2021 to the Green Climate Fund. The group is focused on helping low-income countries adapt to climate change’s impacts and develop green energy sources. As of now, the U.S. gave the fund $500 million.
Under Obama administration, The State Department heavily invested in international efforts to fight off climate change. It is still unclear what the annual budget for these efforts was.
In 2013, a congressional report showed that the government spent $77 billion on global warming efforts from 2008 to 2013. More than 60 percent of the money was invested in carbon-free technologies developed by the Energy Department.
Nigel Purvis, a former State Department employee, agrees the new administration has a right to know the details of environmental spending. However, this spending accounts for a “tiny fraction” of the budget for foreign affairs, which is also a tiny portion of the overall budget.
Purvis also noted most environmental programs are bipartisan efforts, while Republicans initiated many of them. Sources familiar with the matter said the department has yet to replay to the landing team’s request.
Several days ago, Trump’s staffers asked the Energy Department to provide a full disclosure of officials who attended climate gatherings and are actively involved in climate change programs. The team later declined to make the findings public citing a lack of authorization or failings to meet “standard protocols.” Democrats in Congress advised the State Department last week to prevent any “witch hunts.”
A spokesperson for the department noted Monday that the transition team hadn’t asked for a similar disclosure of names or environmental programs.
“I know of no such request for lists of that sort,”
the official told reporters.
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