“Chairwoman Lowey, Ranking Member Rogers, and members of the subcommittee,
Thank you for this opportunity. I am the Executive Director of ActionAid USA, an international development and human rights nonprofit with a strong focus on how climate change is impacting everyday people in poorer countries.
I would like to speak about the critical importance of U.S. support for international efforts on the environment and climate change. ActionAid USA does not receive any funding from the accounts about which we are testifying.
ActionAid works directly with smallholder farmers and rural communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America who are most vulnerable to climate impacts, people who, ironically, are also among those least responsible for causing the climate crisis.
As a country that has contributed significantly to the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change, and with the ability to mobilize considerable resources, the U.S. has a moral and legal responsibility to support people living in poverty who are dealing with a crisis not of their own making. To do our fair share to address the root causes of climate change, we must provide financial support for poorer countries to shift their economies to cleaner pathways.
To this end, we strongly support prior U.S. appropriations for climate mitigation and adaptation programs abroad, and for multilateral institutions such as the Global Environment Facility and the Least Developed Countries Fund. We also strongly support an appropriation for the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
ActionAid has followed the GCF closely since its inception. It has become a nearly $20 billion fund, disbursing resources to developing countries around the world to transform economies and support communities dealing with climate impacts. It is not a perfect institution – none are – but it is the best channel we have for ensuring that support is flowing to the countries that need it the most. It is independently governed, features strong environmental, human rights and gender safeguards, and attempts to fund transformational programs.
The Obama administration made a $3 billion pledge to the GCF, of which $2 billion remains outstanding. We believe the US should uphold its promises. More importantly, we believe that significant U.S. contributions to the GCF are essential to have any hope of keeping climate change to manageable levels. We join with others in seeking a contribution of at least 750 million dollars to the GCF in the next fiscal year. This would send a strong signal that the U.S. is committed to a global climate solution.
Finally, climate change intersects with many issues that are fundamental to the lives and livelihoods of everyone, like world hunger which has been on the rise for three years. ActionAid is a strong supporter of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), an innovative initiative that delivers funding for climate-resilient, sustainable agriculture where it is needed most.
As 2021 is a replenishment year for the GAFSP, we request that the United States continue its past support and appropriate $135 million toward a goal of $675 million over the next 5 years.
Watch Niranjali’s full testimony here: