What Congress's Spending Plan for 2023 Means for Climate and Energy at Home and Around the World

What Congress’s Spending Plan for 2023 Means for Climate and Energy at Home and Around the World

President Joe Biden pledged in 2021 that the United States would invest $11.4 billion year by 2024 to support developing countries transition to renewable energy and adaptation to the effects of the climate issue.

However, American lawmakers have not yet followed up on that promise. Despite the fact that the United States has historically contributed the most to the climate catastrophe, only $1 billion for international climate aid was included in the most recent spending allocations released by Congress on Tuesday morning.

According to Mohammed Adows, the founder and director of Power Shift Africa, the United States has made numerous climate finance commitments over the years but has fallen short on many of them, as The New York Times noted.

What Congress's Spending Plan for 2023 Means for Climate and Energy at Home and Around the World

According to Reuters at the time, when Biden made his commitment before the United Nations General Assembly, he was committing to supporting an already-expired commitment by wealthier nations to provide $100 billion a year in climate money to poorer nations by 2020.

The best aspect, according to Biden, is that making these large investments offers each of our nations the ability to invest in their own futures and self as well as sound climate policy.

It appears that American lawmakers don’t concur. According to The Hill, the measly $1 billion was included in an omnibus budget measure that allocated $1.7 trillion to fund the government through 2023. The document was released early on Tuesday by the Senate Committee on Appropriations, and lawmakers want to vote on it before Friday, when the current funding agreement expires, according to E&E News.

What Congress's Spending Plan for 2023 Means for Climate and Energy at Home and Around the World

According to The Hill, the Budget Plan Does Result in Some Home Victories for The Environment and The Climate. These Consist Of:

  1.  $40.6 billion for U.S. communities recovering from extreme weather events like drought, hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires, including $1 billion for Puerto Rico to rebuild its electric grid, according to E&E News.
  2. More than $10 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is $576 million more than last year.
  3. $15.1 billion for the Interior Department, which is around four percent more than last year.

The New York Times noted that the modest level of international climate aid, however, mirrored a wider trend among American lawmakers. Former President Barack Obama pledged $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund, an UN-backed mechanism to direct funding for adaptation and mitigation towards impoverished countries, while he was still in office. Only a third of the amount was ever given by Congress. The fund receives exactly $0 from the current spending bill.

Read More: Fossil Fuel Magnates and Companies Sanctioned Over Ukraine Invasion Are Part of Russia’s Cop27 Delegation.!

Republicans were mostly too responsible, according to Democratic lawmakers, for the meager relief. Indeed, in a statement they released, Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee praised the package for rejecting extreme environmental and climate initiatives.

Democratic Massachusetts Senator Edward J. Markey said, “We failed to provide a penny to meet our commitments to the Green Climate Fund, a step that would truly help us defend our country and our planet from chaos and instability. Congress just funded a defense bill that was $45 billion larger than the president requested.

Activists assert that the executive branch’s inability to fulfill international funding promises damages the United States’ standing as a climate leader. At the most recent UN COP27 climate summit, international climate funding was a significant source of contention. Developing nations sought an additional fund in addition to the proposed $100 billion annually by 2020 to assist with the unavoidable losses and damages brought on by the effects of climate change that can no longer be avoided. According to The New York Times, the negotiations did result in the establishment of a loss and damage fund, which the United States backed.

What Congress's Spending Plan for 2023 Means for Climate and Energy at Home and Around the World

The government hasn’t given up on its $11.4 billion goal for climate adaptation and mitigation, according to White House National Security Council spokeswoman Saloni Sharma.

Read More: Biden Announces at COP27 a Tougher Crackdown on Methane Leaks.

She remarked as The New York Times reported, “We will continue to engage with Congress to make realizing this goal in FY24.”

The final budget plan also had some negative effects on Biden’s domestic climate agenda. The Hill reports that lawmakers reduced the budget for the EPA and the Energy Department by almost two billion dollars and more than half of what he had requested for renewable energy and energy efficiency.


Vishal Rana

Vishal is working as a Content Editor at Enviro360. He covers a wide range of topics, including media, energy, weather, industry news, daily news, climate, etc. Apart from this, Vishal is a sports enthusiast and loves to play cricket. Also, he is an avid moviegoer and spends his free time watching Web series and Hollywood Movies.

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