Church World Service Calls for Passage of the Green Climate Fund Authorization Act

November 5, 2019

For Immediate Release: November 5, 2019

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Church World Service Calls for Passage of the Green Climate Fund Authorization Act

Washington, D.C. — Church World Service today called on Congress to immediately pass the Green Climate Fund Authorization Act of 2019, legislation necessary to protecting vulnerable populations from the disastrous effects of climate change. Introduced by Representative Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), the bill would authorize appropriations to the Green Climate Fund, an independent, multilateral fund established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to help developing countries limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. Experts predict that millions — possibly hundreds of millions — worldwide will be dislocated from their homes by climate disruption.

“It is impossible to predict exactly how many people and communities will be displaced by climate change and its effects. But there is little doubt that displacement will be on an order of magnitude that will require coordinated responses and new protections, both within and across borders. Many people have already been forced from their homes, both in the United States and around the world. They urgently need assistance to build sustainable livelihoods at home while finding low carbon solutions to address their development needs,” said Rev. John L. McCullough, President and CEO of Church World Service.

At the international pledging conference in Paris in late October, the United States failed to make a financial contribution to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), after having failed to deliver the full US$3 billion previously pledged by the Obama Administration. France, the United Kingdom, and nearly half of the countries present doubled theirs. The Green Climate Fund is the world’s largest climate finance mechanism, designed specifically to help developing countries address climate change. The U.S. is historically the world’s biggest emitter of the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change; in 2018, its emissions increased, after going down for several years.

“The Trump Administration cannot have it both ways. The United States cannot shut its doors to migrants and at the same time close off financial opportunities to impoverished communities in the developing world. These people have not only not created this problem, but they are actively seeking durable options for staying at home. America has used up more than its fair share of the global carbon budget,” added McCullough. “Justice requires that its out sized role in causing climate change be followed by a proportional role in contributing to solutions. By refusing to honor previous commitments and not contributing now, the administration is digging a deep hole in the GCF budget. This will make it much more difficult for the fund to fulfil its mandate and it will inevitably cause many more problems down the road. This is neither just nor strategic.”

For more information or to speak with McCullough, contact Christopher Plummer at