by Cathie Adams, Eagle Forum International Issues Chairman
President Trump’s energy agenda assures a bright future for Americans. He and his delegation did an amazing job defending free-market capitalism, national sovereignty, and our standard of living in Bonn without pandering to the radical greens. To stay on this bright path, it is imperative that Americans understand the United Nations agenda, and boldly stand with our President.
The supposed purpose of the Bonn meeting was to create a rulebook to implement the Paris Agreement, but that work will continue into next year at meetings leading up to the next major meeting in Poland.
The real purpose of the Bonn meeting, and every climate change meeting, is to redistribute wealth from rich to poor countries. This statement by the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) prior to convening in Bonn affirms the claim: “The LDCs are calling for COP23 to be a COP of finance and support…for two funds in particular, the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Adaptation Fund.” They were highly successful as evidenced by these examples:
- Germany pledged 50 million Euros on the opening day of the conference to the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and another 50 million Euros to the Adaptation Fund.
- Germany also pledged an additional $125 million for an InsuResilience Initiative, a provision of insurance to 400 million poor people by 2020. This insurance mechanism is a partnership between Germany, the UK, other nations, and financial institutions such as the World Bank. This brings G20 nations into partnership with 49 vulnerable nations, called the V20.
- Germany and Britain combined pledged $153 million to expand programs to fight climate change and deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.
- The UK pledged 30 million Pounds to its Centre for Global Disaster Protection. And to immediately begin phasing out its coal usage.
- Belgium pledged 3.25 million Euros to the LDCF.
- Sweden pledged $185 million to the Adaptation Fund, plus $185 million to the LDCF.
- Luxembourg pledged 5 million Euros to the Green for Growth Fund for development in the Middle East and North Africa.
- Norway, Unilever, and the World Bank pledged $400 million to stimulate resilient social development, i.e. high productivity agriculture, smallholder inclusion and forest protection. Laura Tuck, VP of sustainable development at the World Bank commented, “Achieving economic development and the eradication of poverty can’t be achieved if we don’t build climate resilience. This is why the World Bank is putting resilience, and the management of climate risks, at the heart of its investments.”
- Norway also announced that it will divest its pension funds amounting to about $35-40 billion from fossil fuel companies.
- Italy pledged 7 million Euros to the Adaptation Fund and another 2.5 million Euros to create a new “Capacity Award Program to Advance Capabilities and Institutional Training in one Year (CAPACITY) to developing local professional expertise in countries that are most vulnerable to climate change.
- The European Investment Bank pledged $75 million for a new $405 million investment for the Water Authority of Fiji to strengthen the resilience of water distribution and wastewater treatment following Cyclone Winston in February 2016.
- The Green Climate Fund and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development pledged a $37.6 grant for a $243 million project to make Moroccan agriculture more resilient.
- The World Resources Institute pledged $2.1 billion of private investment to restore degraded lands in Latin America and the Caribbean.
- The UN Development Program, Germany, Spain and the EU pledged 42 million Euros for the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Support Program to help countries deliver on the Paris Agreement.
- Thirteen countries and the International Energy Agency pledged 30 million Euros to the “IEA Clean Energy Transitions Program” to support clean energy transitions around the world.
- Ecuador pledged to reduce 15 million tons of CO2 emissions in its forest sector.
- National parks in the central African nation of Gabon pledged to halt illegal logging to stop 20 million tons of CO2.
- Microsoft and Walmart also announced pledges to the UN climate change agenda. Microsoft pledged to cut CO2 emissions by 75% by 2030. And Walmart pledged to provide commodities that do not increase deforestation.
- A gender action plan, an indigenous peoples platform, and an oceans pathway were created, but the Fiji host did not get what they wanted most: money for storm loss and damage.
Billions or even trillions of dollars will never satisfy the radical greens. Raijeli Nicole, regional director for Oxfam in the Pacific, put it this way, “For the most part, rich countries showed up to Bonn empty-handed. Instead, we got a tepid agreement that they’ll report back next year on progress towards their $100 billion promise.” The $100 billion promise is the annual UN Green Climate Fund that currently contains only about $10 billion.
Litigation abuse is another tool being plied by the radical greens.They have a number of legal cases hoping the courts will impose penalties for climate change on fossil fuel companies, similar to the penalties that were levied against the tobacco industry. They also bragged about potential litigation against major meat producers accusing them of liability for methane emissions.
The U.S. wisely kept a low profile in Bonn. Judith G. Garber, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, did address the delegations reiterating President Trump’s plan to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, yet to remain open to rejoining under terms more favorable to the American people. She reported that while the U.S., since 2005, has reduced net greenhouse gas emissions by 11.5%, our economy has grown 15%, adjusted for inflation. She added that the U.S. will continue to support the cleanest, most efficient power generation, regardless of the source.
But that didn’t prevent U.S. Democratic Senators from Rhode Island, Oregon, Hawaii and Massachusetts from showing up in Bonn to make delusional claims: “Trump is just a temporary resident of the White House….Climate outlasts Presidents….We hold the Trump card….The American people are still in [the Paris Agreement.”
Jesse Young, a senior advisor at Oxfam America, also threw jabs at Garber’s remarks: “Today, the U.S. said it remains open to staying in Paris, and wants to help the world address the challenges of climate change. But until they cease their efforts to leave Paris and actually invest in policies to fight climate impacts — today’s statement will be worth little more than the paper on which it was written.”
Oxfam’s Pacific representative added, “From activists to governors and business leaders, we saw the real face of American climate activism here in Bonn. The world has left Trump behind, sitting alone on a throne of coal.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
The undeniable truth is that America’s free-market capitalism, our clean air and water, and our standard of living are lights on a hill that can greatly benefit the rest of the world. Should the radical greens choose to take off their socialist blinders, they too can follow our successful path to an even brighter future.