Spending Bill Has Upsides and Downsides
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CONTACT: Nick Berning, 202-222-0748
House omnibus spending bill makes progress on international climate funding, but makes too much available domestically to coal and nukes
WASHINGTON, D.C.Friends of the Earth President Brent Blackwelder had the following response to the omnibus spending bill that passed the House of Representatives today:
On the international climate front, the House made a significant step forward by directing up to $10 million to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Changes Least Developed Country Fund. While this is a relatively modest amount of money, it is the first U.S. contribution to any UN climate change fund and therefore carries symbolic weight that will increase the ability of U.S. officials to credibly engage in international climate negotiations.
“At the same time, the House wisely nixed funding to the undemocratic World Bank Clean Technology Fund. This fund undermines efforts to set up better climate financing mechanisms under an international treaty, and it could finance dirty energy projects such as coal. If the World Bank wants to seriously address global warming, it would do well to look at its own carbon footprint; the Bank has increased fossil fuel lending by 94 percent from 2007 to 2008, including a 256 percent increase in coal lending.
One of the worst parts of the omnibus bill is the $47.5 billion it would make available for the Department of Energys loan guarantee program, which will likely result in bailouts for environmentally harmful coal and nuclear projects that even Wall Street finds too risky to finance.
Friends of the Earth (www.foe.org) is the U.S. voice of the worlds largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.