12 September 2017

Countries to increase financial contributions to the IPCC to cover for US’s halt of funding

During the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meeting last week in Montreal, one of the pivotal issues under discussion was IPCC’s funding crisis after US announced the end of the US’s $2 million contribution, which accounted for 45 percent of the organizations funds for 2016.

According to IPCC, even before President Trump’s announcement to halt the traditionally high financial contribution from the US, the organisation’s financial situation had reached a minor crisis point, since governments have started decreasing their contributions.

The IPCC currently comprises 195 Member Governments and 134 observer organisations.

Since its establishment, funding has been secured through voluntary contributions from very few Member Governments, and from financial contributions from the European Union, UN Environment, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the World Meteorological Organisation.

More specifically, according to IPCC documents, regular country contributors to the IPCC include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mauritius, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States, - meaning that more than 80 per cent of the member countries have never contributed.

IPCC informed the Members about these issues due to a crucial period for the climate change community, especially as one of the most ambitious projects being about to start- the 6th Assessment Report to be published between 2021 and 2022.

Climate Home media had reported that sources from the meeting had revealed that a number of governments had expressed the willingness to increase their contributions after they had been informed of the situation.

Some examples are the European Commission, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Switzerland and the UK.

On Monday, Canada Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced that Canada would double its contributions to approximately $250,000 per year until 2022.

Mrs McKenna said: “By doubling our support for the important work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, our government will help climate scientists from around the world assess vital research, and give governments the tools to make smart, evidence-based decisions for our future”.

Patricia Espinosa, head of the UN climate negotiations forum, welcomed the move, tweeting: “Canada’s climate leadership is exemplary!”

Last week, a US Senate appropriations Committee led by Republicans, voted to contribute $10 million to UNFCCC and its science wing IPCCC, but it is unsure whether it will pass the House of Representatives, which had sided with President Trump on the issue. 

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