Thursday, October 10, 2013
Richard K. Lattanzio
Analyst in Environmental Policy
The United States supports international financial assistance for global climate change initiatives in developing countries. Under the Obama Administration, this assistance has been articulated primarily as the Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI), a platform within the President’s 2010 Policy Directive on Global Development. The GCCI aims to integrate climate change considerations into U.S. foreign assistance through a range of bilateral, multilateral, and private sector mechanisms to promote sustainable and climate-resilient societies, foster low-carbon growth, and reduce emissions from deforestation and land degradation. The GCCI is implemented through programs at three “core” agencies: the Department of State, the Department of the Treasury, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Most GCCI activities at USAID are implemented through the agency’s bilateral development assistance programs. Many of the GCCI activities at the Department of State and the Department of the Treasury are implemented through international organizations, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Least Developed Country Fund and Special Climate Change Fund, as well as multilateral financial institutions such as the Global Environment Facility, the Clean Technology Fund, and the Strategic Climate Fund. The GCCI is funded through the Administration’s Executive Budget, Function 150 account, for State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs.
Congress is responsible for several activities in regard to the GCCI, including (1) authorizing periodic appropriations for federal agency programs and multilateral fund contributions, (2) enacting those appropriations, (3) providing guidance to the agencies, and (4) overseeing U.S. interests in the programs and the multilateral funds. Recent budget authority for the GCCI was $945 million in FY2010, $819 million in FY2011, $858 million in FY2012, and $757 million in FY2013, and has been enacted through legislation including the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (H.R. 3288; P.L. 111-117); the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2010 (H.R. 4899; P.L. 111-212); the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (H.R. 1473; P.L. 112-10); the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (H.R. 2055; P.L. 112-74); and the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (H.R. 933; P.L. 113-6). The Administration’s FY2014 GCCI budget request is $837 million. Congressional committees of jurisdiction for the GCCI include the U.S. House of Representatives Committees on Foreign Affairs (various subcommittees); Financial Services, Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade; and Appropriations, Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs; and the U.S. Senate Committees on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs, and International Environmental Protection; and Appropriations, Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs.
As Congress considers potential authorizations and/or appropriations for activities administered through the GCCI, it may have questions concerning U.S. agency initiatives and current bilateral and multilateral programs that address global climate change. Some potential concerns may include cost, purpose, direction, efficiency, and effectiveness, as well as the GCCI’s relationship to industry, investment, humanitarian efforts, national security, and international leadership. This report serves as a brief overview of the GCCI and its structure, intents, and funding history.
Date of Report: September 12, 2013
Number of Pages: 17
Order Number: R41845
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Posted by Penny Hill Press, Inc. at Thursday, October 10, 2013