Center for American Progress

RELEASE: New Report Provides Blueprint for U.S. Leadership in International Climate Finance
Press Release

RELEASE: New Report Provides Blueprint for U.S. Leadership in International Climate Finance

Washington, D.C. ― The Alliance for Climate Protection and the Center for American Progress today released a joint report entitled “The U.S. Role in International Climate Finance: A Blueprint for Near-Term Leadership.” The paper asserts that the United States can and must take the lead on international climate finance — even under the current difficult political and economic conditions.

The report, based on analysis by the groups Climate Advisers and Project Catalyst, demonstrates that it is in the United States’ best interest to help developing nations reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build clean energy economies. It calls on the United States to lead a global partnership to mobilize new investments in developing countries between now and 2015.

“This study shows how to match money with actions on the ground and provides the basis for a plan that is simultaneously global in scope, and local in action. And to Americans, in particular, it is a demonstration that not only is our leadership needed for global purposes, but that it is needed for our own self-interest,” said former Vice President Al Gore, Chairman of the Alliance for Climate Protection.

At last year’s UN climate conference in Copenhagen, world leaders agreed to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). However, the report shows that current emission reduction pledges by both developed and developing countries fall well short of achieving this target.

While the United States must do more at home, it also must explore new ways to help developing countries pursue clean energy growth. The report calls for specific new initiatives for the United States to step up investment in climate finance and create new bilateral partnerships with developing countries. It shows how the United States can finance investments through public budget resources, carbon markets, development bank lending, and private financing.

John Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress, said: “Despite congressional gridlock on comprehensive climate legislation, the U.S. must do all it can right now to reduce its carbon pollution. And it can and should complement that activity with real leadership on international climate finance. Already, the U.S. is moving ahead with fast-start financing, but without leadership in the coming years, the U.S. will suffer from climate-related national security threats, unstable climate migration and declining productivity. In leading a global effort for investment in other countries, we will be investing in our own future and prove without a doubt that we are in this struggle for the long-haul.”

“We can and must do more to reduce greenhouse gas pollution here at home,” added Maggie L. Fox, President and CEO of the Alliance for Climate Protection. “The United States must also take on the mantle of global leadership and build new partnerships with our allies. This will not only reduce the harmful impacts of climate change globally, but also create new opportunities for American businesses.”

“To win the clean energy race with China and protect our country from the risks and ravages of climate change, the United States must forge an international partnership to accelerate green growth in developing economies,” said Nigel Purvis, President and CEO of Climate Advisers. “This partnership will require new financial investments by the United States in these nations to support smart energy policies, tropical forest conservation and climate adaptation."

To see full report, click here.

To listen to today’s press call audio, click here.