It is in the United States’ national interest to provide financial assistance to countries that are most vulnerable to climate change, the U.S. climate change negotiator said Wednesday (May 25), arguing that such investment would boost the country’s position and credibility in the international community.
“It will strengthen our international posture, contribute to our own economic growth and help build a clean energy world less exposed and more resilient to the very real dangers of climate change,” Todd Stern told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, as quoted by Agence France-Presse.
“Countries around the world see climate change as a core challenge. Whether you agree or disagree with that, it is vital to US diplomatic leverage and to US long-term interests to be seen as part of the solution,” he added.
U.S. President Barack Obama pledged in 2009 that the United States will have a more constructive role in global efforts to fight climate change but has met opposition in Congress, particularly from the Republican Party, which currently controls the House of Representatives.
House Republicans, including House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), are also calling for deep reductions in the overall U.S. foreign aid budget.
Read more about U.S. development aid.