Trump Administration Cuts Global Climate Funding, Vulnerable Regions Are Now Suffering

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For the first time in nearly 30 years, the United States has chosen to cut its contribution to the Global Environment Facility (GEF). During the Obama administration, this country gave $546 million to the GEF in the year 2014 alone. This assembly, which convenes every four years, received only $273 million from the Trump administration’s funding this year. Don’t bother doing the math; that’s half.

The current administration has openly decreed its stance on climate change in more than one way, despite the surmounting evidence to support climate change. Scientists urge governments to step up their game and protect lives on this planet by continuing to issue research results and evaluations dictating the real life effects of a global crisis. Reporters at Think Progress state that diplomats around the world are weighing in on the U.S. government’s shirking of responsibility. An anonymous diplomat from Chile spoke out to India Climate Dialog journalists, asserting an opinion shared among many concerned officials.

“We cannot allow the U.S. government to renege on its responsibilities just because President Trump refuses to acknowledge them.”

Indeed, Donald Trump has once referred to climate change as a Chinese hoax. He later claimed his remark was a joke, as cited on PolitiFact. But this does highlight the old saying that there is always some truth in jest. Where do Trump and his administration actually weigh in on this devastating issue? His contribution to GEF speaks for itself.

Sinking city
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - APRIL 26: men break apart an old ship in an area which is in the process of reclaiming land from the sea on April 26, 2017 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Jakarta, one of the world's most densely populated cities, is also one of the fastest-sinking cities in the world under the weight of out-of-control development and rising sea levels caused by global warming. Experts say that if nothing is done, parts of Jakarta will sink five metres by the year 2025 so the government is proposing a $40 billion project to tackle the problem by building a 15-mile seawall and 17 artificial islands around Jakarta's northern coastline. The seawall along the coast and across Jakarta Bay began as an immediate solution while President Widodo's administration continues to work on the details of the major project nicknamed Garuda. Increasing floods and severe storms due to rising temperatures and climate change have threatened the mostly poor residents of Jakarta's northern coast with the loss of their homes as reports indicate the problem has been exacerbated by massive overuse of groundwater causing subsidence.Featured image credit: Ed WrayGetty Images

South Asia happens to be a particularly vulnerable region as far as global warming is concerned. Consequences to this region are steep. Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh are at an even more alarming risk if greenhouse emission continue their uphill rise. More than 800 million people live in South Asia. Already in Pakistan, specifically the city of Karachi — the fourth largest city in the entire world — staggering heat waves have forced 20 million people to suffer temperatures toppling 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Dozens have died from heat strokes, states Reuters.

Coal Mining in India
JHARIA, INDIA - FEBRUARY 09: Miners work on repairing a digger at the bottom of an open-cast coal mine in the village of Guhanwadi on February 09, 2012 near Jharia, India. Villagers in India's Eastern State of Jharkhand scavenge coal illegally from open-cast coal mines to earn a few dollars a day. Claiming that decades old underground burning coal seams threatened the homes of villagers, the government has recently relocated over 2300 families to towns like Belgaria. Villagers claim they were promised schools, hospitals and free utilities for two years, which they have not received. As the world's power needs have increased, so has the total global production of coal, nearly doubling over the last 20 years according to the World Coal Association. Featured image credit: Daniel BerehulakGetty Images

These dangerous struggles are nothing new, to be sure. This awareness is why the GEF and the U.N. Green Climate Fund (GCF) are helping lower-income countries adapt and develop their sustainability with the help of wealthy western nations, such as the United States.

In 2017, President Trump asserted his commitments broadly by withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement. Such action resulted in a lash out at the GCF in particular, causing further global criticism early on in regard to the U.S. contributions in global finance. The GCF provides critical aid to coal dependent countries such as India. After announcing the U.S. exit from the Paris agreement, Trump’s version of the White House went on to use its GCF board seat in a grand display of pushing U.S. energy interests aboard.

To simplify, that means the Trump administration has decided to further encourage developing areas such as India to invest more in fossil fuels. These fuels are not clean coal, as the administration would wish everyone to believe, say scientists as well as coal baron, Robert Murray, who outright reject the notion as false. More on that can be found within another article from Think Progress.

It would seem that the Trump administration has successfully put up at least one wall; a boundary separating the U.S. from others who are currently displaying endeavors to priorities international climate devastation.