Biden seeks billions for UN Green Climate Fund

By Timothy Cama | 03/11/2024 04:19 PM EDT

The president’s budget plan would also make the spending mandatory.

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the COP28 U.N. Climate Summit.

Vice President Kamala Harris speaking at the COP28 U.N. climate summit on Dec. 2, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Kamran Jebreili/AP

President Joe Biden is once again asking Congress to put money into the Green Climate Fund, as detailed in his fiscal 2025 budget blueprint.

The request, to be fulfilled over four years, would go toward honoring a pledge the U.S. made at last year’s United Nations climate talks in the United Arab Emirates. It would also help fulfill Biden’s promise to contribute $11 billion toward international climate finance annually by 2024.

In all, the White House is seeking $500 million in fiscal 2025, $750 million each in the following two years and $1 billion in fiscal 2028.


Beyond asking for the money, Biden wants to protect it from Congress’ ever-changing power dynamics by making the spending mandatory.

Biden is presenting the plan as part of the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience, which “supports more than half a billion people in developing countries to adapt to and manage the impacts of climate change,” the White House Office of Management and Budget said.

In a statement, the State Department said, “Paired with GCF reforms, this funding will unlock private capital that will enhance energy security by diversifying energy sources, help countries to reduce their emissions, enable the most vulnerable to adapt to climate change, and strengthen the resilience of their economies and critical infrastructure.”

The $500 million request for fiscal 2025 is less than a third of the $1.6 billion Biden had sought for the fund in his fiscal 2024 budget. Congress is still working on its final State Department-Foreign Operations bill.

Biden last year committed $1 billion to the Green Climate Fund. That brings the total U.S. contribution to $2 billion — $1 billion short of the initial $3 billion the U.S. pledged under President Barack Obama’s administration.

U.S. payments have been controversial since the international community created the fund in 2010 to help low-income countries transition to clean energy and adapt to the changing climate.

Republicans generally seek to pass legislative language to block them, and former President Donald Trump did not make any contributions.

House Republicans passed a State Department funding bill last year for fiscal 2024 that would block Green Climate Fund money. The Senate’s bill wouldn’t block Biden from transferring money to the fund, but it wouldn’t set aside money specifically for that purpose.

Biden is also asking for $100 million to the Amazon Fund, which goes to helping Brazil stop deforestation, a major carbon sink for the globe.

Reporter Sara Schonhardt contributed.