Biden Commits $1 Billion to Global Climate Fund

Biden Commits $1 Billion to Global Climate Fund
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a virtual Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) at the South Court Auditorium at Eisenhower Executive Office Building June 17, 2022, in Washington. President Biden hosted the forum to discuss energy security, global food security and climate crisis. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Nathan Worcester

U.S. President Joe Biden committed $1 billion to a U.N. global climate fund during remarks at the April 20 Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF).

“I’m pleased to announce the United States is going to provide $1 billion to the Green Climate Fund, a fund [that is] critical in ways to help developing nations that can’t do now,” Biden said, speaking just after U.S. climate envoy John Kerry.

Established through a series of U.N. climate conferences, the Green Climate Fund’s governing instrument states that it’s meant to help developing countries “limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions” and “adapt to the impacts of climate change.” The Fund has already received $1 billion from the United States.

“We need to strengthen the role of multilateral development banks in fighting [the] climate crisis as well, starting with the World Bank,” Biden said during his remarks.

He said he wanted those institutions to expand their climate-related lending.

Senior officials previewed Biden’s remarks in an April 19 call to reporters.

A senior administration official told reporters that the funding would come from “money in hand” rather than the fiscal year 2024 budget, which is already under scrutiny by congressional Republicans.
The officials were asked what Biden would tell other countries about his 2021 promise to deliver $11.4 billion in international climate aid by 2024.

The senior administration official said the administration is considering “new and creative authorities” as part of its efforts to obtain that funding.

Biden also announced that the U.S. would provide the Amazon Fund, which is managed by the Brazilian Development Bank, with $500 million to aid what he described as “Brazil’s renewed effort to end deforestation by 2030.”

He said another federal institution, the Development Finance Corporation, aims to send another $1 billion for conservation efforts in Latin America and the Amazon.

Low-Emissions Vehicle Goal

Biden on April 20 proposed an ambitious target for global vehicle emissions.

“I encourage all of you to join us in our collective goal to ensure that at least 50 percent of new passenger cars and 30 percent of trucks will be zero emissions by 2030,” he said.

The senior administration official further elaborated on that aim on April 19.

“By 2030, over 50 percent of LDVs [light-duty vehicles] and at least 30 percent of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles sold globally will be zero-emission vehicles—so battery-electric, fuel cell, plug-in hybrid vehicles.”

A senior State Department official who spoke to reporters on April 19 noted that medium- and heavy-duty vehicles are “more important sources of emissions in many major emerging economies relative to light-duty vehicles.”

In some respects, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest tailpipe emissions proposals, released on April 12, exceed the standards outlined on April 20.

The EPA expects that, under its new standards, two-thirds of new light-duty vehicles sold in the United States will be electric by the model year 2032.

“Part of the zero-emission vehicle goal tomorrow encourages all major economies to set their own zero-emission vehicle goals by COP 28 for all vehicle classes, and just as we have set standards for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles, this is calling for all major economy foreign countries to do the same,” the senior official told reporters.

The U.N. COP28 climate conference will occur in November and early December in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

In his April 20 remarks, Biden said the latest EPA target—which he suggested sets a global standard—is part of the U.S. efforts to create a “clean transportation sector,” alongside spending in major legislation such as last year’s Schumer–Manchin bill, dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act.

“We stood with the CEOs of major car manufacturers and the workers who will build our clean transportation future. And they’re all in,” the president said.

Yet in a blog post published after the standards came out, the leader of a major automaker trade organization sounded more skeptical.

“EPA’s proposed emissions plan is aggressive by any measure. By that I mean it sets automotive electrification goals in the next few years that are ... very high,” said John Bozzella, president and CEO of Alliance for Automotive Innovation.

“The proposal exceeds the administration’s own 50 percent electrification target.”

Bozzella also noted that his industry is “fully committed to an electric and low-carbon transportation future.”

Biden signed an executive order in August 2021 that established as an aim that “50 percent of all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in 2030 be zero-emission vehicles.”
The senior State Department official said on April 19 that the EPA’s new target “[speaks] for itself as the most recent and substantive statement on our intent for vehicle standards,” suggesting that the August 2021 target has been supplanted.

The US, China, and Climate

First launched in March 2009 by then-President Barack Obama, the MEF brings together countries from across the planet. Participants include Brazil, China, India, France, and the UK.
Kerry held a preparatory meeting for the April summit last month.

“This group has now come together three times under President Biden’s leadership,” Kerry said on April 20.

The forum’s makeup has shifted over the years. Russia, a participant in the inaugural July 2009 meeting in Italy, was the target of criticism in the June 2022 forum.

Despite growing tensions between China and the United States, China has continued to attend. Kerry has consistently stressed the need for coordination between the two countries on climate and energy. Both nations are top global greenhouse gas emitters.

The senior administration official confirmed on April 19 that China’s climate envoy, Xie Zhenhua, will be at the forum.

Nathan Worcester covers national politics for The Epoch Times and has also focused on energy and the environment. Nathan has written about everything from fusion energy and ESG to Biden's classified documents and international conservative politics. He lives and works in Chicago. Nathan can be reached at [email protected].
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