U.S. announces weak contribution to Paris Agreement
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In preparation for the United Nations climate negotiations in Paris, the United States announced its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution. This formal announcement builds on an agreement that President Obama reached with China in November 2014 for the United States to reduce emissions by 26-28 percent from 2005 levels, by 2025.
Friends of the Earth Climate and Energy Program Director Benjamin Schreiber issued the following response to the announcement:
The world has a rapidly shrinking carbon budget, and President Obama demonstrated a belief that “American exceptionalism” entitles us to the lion’s share of it. As the historically largest climate polluter, the United States has a moral imperative — as well as a legal obligation under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change — to take climate action commensurate with the demands of climate science and justice. The U.S. Intended Nationally Determined Contribution does not do that. Instead, it moves us closer to the brink of global catastrophe, with increasing food and water shortages, conflict, climate exodus and the potential deaths of millions; particularly in countries least resourced to cope with the shocks of more intense weather patterns.
Further, the U.S. INDC does not cover adaptation, technology and climate finance, funds from developed to developing countries to help pay for mitigation and adaptation. These are essential components of a fair and effective climate agreement. As a first step, President Obama must work with Congress to appropriate the full $500 million FY16 request for the Green Climate Fund.