Secretary of State John F. Kerry walks on a frozen section of the Ross Sea near the McMurdo Station in Antarctica on 12 November 2016. Photo: Mark Ralson / Agence France-Presse

By Juliet Eilperin and Carol Morello
20 December 2016

(The Washington Post) – Donald Trump’s presidential transition team has asked State Department officials to disclose how much money it provides each year to international environmental groups. It’s the latest example of how the incoming administration is reassessing the U.S. government’s approach to tackling climate change and other environmental priorities.

As part of a list of questions posed last week to the department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, according to multiple people familiar with the matter, the Trump landing team asked, “How much does the Department of State contribute annually to international environmental organizations in which the department participates?” […]

On 1 November 2016, Trump said he would “cancel billions of dollars in global warming payments to the United Nations” and devote that money instead to green infrastructure projects and environmental protection.

His campaign released a policy statement that day suggesting that he would “cancel all wasteful climate change spending,” which would include the elimination of all of the federal government’s international and domestic climate programs as well as a rollback in regulations aimed at cutting carbon emissions. The campaign estimated that these moves would save $100 billion over eight years, though it did not release a detailed accounting of how those savings would be generated. […]

“While the transition team has a right to know how the State Department spends its money, what they are going to find out is that environmental spending is a tiny fraction of the foreign affairs budget, which itself is a small part of the federal budget,” said Nigel Purvis, who served in the State Department under both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and now heads the D.C. consulting firm Climate Advisers. “Most international environmental programs run by the State Department enjoy broad bipartisan support and many of these programs were started by Republicans.” [more]

Trump team asks State Dept. what it spends on international environmental efforts

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