Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
February 27, 2003
United States Global Climate Change Policy
On February 14, 2002, President Bush committed the United States to an ambitious climate change strategy that will reduce domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions relative to the size of the American economy. The United States will achieve this goal by cutting its GHG intensity -- how much it emits per unit of economic activity -- by 18% over the next 10 years. This strategy will set America on a path to slow the growth of greenhouse gas emissions, and -- as the science justifies -- to stop, and then reverse that growth. The Presidentís policy also continues the United Statesí leadership role in supporting vital climate change research, laying the groundwork for future action by investing in science, technology, and institutions. In addition, the United Statesí strategy emphasizes international cooperation and promotes working with other nations to develop an efficient and coordinated response to global climate change. In taking prudent environmental action at home and abroad, the United States is advancing a pro-growth, pro-development approach to addressing this important global challenge.
Working With Other Nations to Develop an Efficient and Effective Global Response
Enhanced support in the developing world. The Presidentís FY2004 budget supports significant funding for climate change-related science and technology research, development, and transfer in the developing world, including:
Multilateral partnerships. The Presidentís FY 2004 budget also supports significant funding for Department of Energy (DOE) multilateral climate change-related technology research and development (R&D), including:
- $155 million for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which continues to be a major source of climate technology assistance to developing countries.
- $70 million for the Global Environment Facility (GEF), to help developing countries better measure and reduce emissions, and invest in clean and renewable energy technologies. The United States has requested a total of $185 million for GEF in FY 2004, $107.5 million to cover the second of four payments under the third replenishment of the GEF (GEF-3) and $77.5 million to clear a portion of U.S. arrears. As part of the GEF-3 replenishment agreement, the United States has pledged $500 million to the GEF over the next 4 years to help developing countries address environmental problems with potential global impact. This commitment represents a 16% increase over the U.S. contribution to the previous replenishment.
- A significant share of the overall funding required to meet the Presidentís commitment of $25 million for climate observation systems in developing countries.
- $50 million for tropical forest conservation, including $20 million under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act to help countries redirect debt payments toward protecting tropical forests, which store millions of tons of carbon.
- $9.7 million for the Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems Initiative, which is developing the next-generation nuclear systems to produce electricity to drive our 21st century economy and to generate vast quantities of economical hydrogen for transportation use without emitting greenhouse gases. In this effort, the U.S. leads multi-national R&D projects through the Generation IV International Forum, comprised of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. This international approach seeks to develop technologies that are widely acceptable, enables DOE to access the best expertise in the world to develop complex new technologies, and helps leverage scarce nuclear R&D resources.
- $62 million for carbon sequestration research and development, which is developing a portfolio of technologies that hold great promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel plants through carbon separation, capture, transport and storage. The U.S. is also inviting international partners to participate in a Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum that provides a way for the U.S. and other governments to take effective action in a number of ways -- by partnering with the private sector on carbon capture and storage activities already underway; by strengthening international multilateral efforts in research and development of carbon sequestration technologies; and by mobilizing international resources.
- $12 million to support U.S. preparations for negotiations with the United Kingdom, other European Union nations, Russia, China, Japan and Canada on the creation of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), an ambitious international research project to harness the promise of fusion energy. In the longer term, the results of ITER will advance the effort to produce clean, safe, renewable, and commercially-available fusion energy by the middle of this century. Commercialization of fusion has the potential to dramatically improve Americaís energy security while significantly reducing air pollution and emissions of greenhouse gases.
Bilateral partnerships. The United States is committed to working with other nations, especially developing countries, to build future prosperity along a cleaner and better path. The Presidentís strategy promotes cooperative relationships with other countries, so that our objectives and activities complement each other in addressing climate change effectively. Since June 2001, the United States has engaged in bilateral partnerships with Australia, Canada, China, seven Central American countries (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama), the European Union, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, and the Russian Federation on issues ranging from climate change science to energy and sequestration technologies to policy approaches.