In an effort to expedite global wealth redistribution, the Biden administration announced that U.S. taxpayers would now fund the United Nations’ (UN) latest financial gimmick: climate reparations. Wealthier countries will now be required to pay poorer countries for “loss and damage” affiliated with weather events.
The new climate reparations are in addition to an existing $100 billion green slush fund commitment under the Paris Accord for developing countries, including China, to reduce emissions and integrate adaptation projects. Now, U.S. taxpayers will have to fund the new reparations scheme, which the globalists have labeled the “climate justice” fund. As with many of these billion-dollar endeavors, the important details are lacking. For example, it’s unclear how much the fund will cost. A 2021 estimate put the costs in the hundreds of billions of dollars range. Also unclear is whether China, the globe’s top emitter by a long shot, will be a funder or a recipient.
These financing agreements have officially gone from bad to worse. Just a few weeks ago, even U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry agreed. Leading up to the conference, Kerry stated: “the United States … will not establish some sort of legal structure that is tied to compensation or liability. That’s just not happening.” Fast forward a few weeks, and he’s done the very thing he said he wouldn’t. Welcome to the world of diplomatic doublespeak and the American second reality.
This is an attempted misuse of taxpayer dollars and will have no significant impact on the environment. The saving grace for taxpayers is the new Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives that can, and likely will, block funding for this misplaced commitment. If the past is prologue, then Team Biden will try to illegally divert appropriated funds to fulfill their commitments in the same way Team Obama raided emergency funds for another UN slush fund—the Green Climate Fund.
As some may recall, the Obama administration committed $3 billion in 2015 to boost the Paris Climate Accord negotiations without any approval from Congress. They then ignored a limit on funding the program and shifted $500 million to the UN anyway. Accordingly, members of the new Republican majority should be leery of any additional “emergency funding” requests and remain vigilant of efforts to divert taxpayer funds for unauthorized purposes. Political commitments to global institutions should not override the voice of the American people in the expenditure of their hard-earned dollars.
If the Biden administration were serious about reducing emissions, instead of sending billions of dollars to unchecked bureaucrats at the UN, there are better alternatives. They could streamline liquid natural gas (LNG) exports and the build-out of affiliated infrastructure both here and abroad. One estimate found that exporting U.S. natural gas to global markets could cut carbon dioxide emissions by 1.1 billion metric tons per year, a supposed goal of the international climate conference participants. Putting this in their terms, it’s the equivalent of electrifying every U.S. passenger vehicle, powering every home with solar and backup batteries, and adding 54,000 industrial-scale windmills, combined.
There are numerous other options available for Team Biden that would make a tangible difference around the globe. For starters, the administration could stop their senseless policy of “banning all fossil fuels” in the U.S. Technological breakthroughs from our oil and gas industry are why we lead the world in reducing emissions today—and supporting this industry instead of trying to cancel it could reap both economic and environmental dividends.
Beyond LNG, we have a number of advanced methods for extracting and refining natural resources that, if shared, could improve environments abroad and build up local economies. Modern economies built on a stable, affordable supply of energy address other problems the least developed nations struggle with like access to modern healthcare, sewer systems, and food storage.
Rather than forcing unreliable energy sources on developing countries coupled with UN handouts, the U.S. should adopt a foreign policy posture that promotes homegrown energy exports like nuclear and LNG. American energy advancement and prosperity should not be taxed by globalists, it should be supported and shared.