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Tell Congress: Ramp Up Global Climate and Conservation Funding
Right now, your Members of Congress are deciding on their priorities for federal funding in the coming year. They are identifying what programs they want to fund, increase, or cut—including critical foreign assistance programs that address climate change and halt nature loss.
Over the past year, President Biden has stepped up to lead on these issues internationally, making ambitious pledges to cut US carbon emissions and ramping up support to developing countries in the face of increasingly severe climate impacts. Now, it's Congress' turn to step up and deliver on America's promises.
Send the letter below to your Members of Congress and let them know you appreciate their past support for global conservation and climate programs—and that we need them to redouble that support in this coming year.This action is only open to US residents. We encourage you to personalize your message below, and let your representative know why this issue is important to you.
Dear your U.S. representative, your U.S. senators,
I stand with World Wildlife Fund and encourage you to support significantly increased funding to US foreign assistance programs that support international conservation and efforts to address climate change. This includes funding to protect tropical forests and oceans, prevent illegal trade in wildlife, timber, and fish, and support developing communities' ability to manage their natural resources sustainably and to build resilience to climate change and its impacts.
Thank you for the support that Congress gave to these programs in fiscal year 2022, including for programs funded through US Agency for International Development (USAID), the State Department, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). I urge you to continue that support in fiscal year 2023 and to request significant increases in several of these programs, given the central role they play in addressing several major global challenges. I also ask you to support the inclusion of significant new funding for the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
Investing in conservation is critical to halting the rapid global loss of nature. It is also key to slowing climate change, by protecting tropical forests and other carbon-rich ecosystems, and to preventing pandemics, by stopping the spillover of diseases from wildlife to humans due to tropical deforestation and high-risk wildlife trade. By helping developing communities to better manage their natural resources, enhance their food and water security, and prevent illegal trade in wildlife, timber, and fish, these conservation and climate programs also help undergird America’s security and its interests around the world. A recently released report from the Council on Strategic Risks concluded that the decline of nature globally "is arguably the 21st Century's most under appreciated security threat," posing real risks to America's long-term national and economic security if we fail to address it.
International climate programs funded by the US government are also critical to helping the most vulnerable and least developed countries build their resilience to worsening climate impacts and develop clean and renewable sources of energy. The US and other developed countries have pledged to provide a total of $100 billion in climate financing annually for these efforts. After over a decade, that pledge has not yet been met. President Biden has committed the US to contribute $11.4 billion of that total by 2024, in order to come closer to doing our fair share. To meet that goal, we will need to see significant increases to these programs over the coming year.
These programs receive very modest funding overall while providing significant benefits and return on investment. They help slow climate change, prevent future pandemics, tackle transnational organized crime and corruption, foster local democracy and good government, and promote resilience, stability, and sustainable economic growth in partner countries. In doing so, they help make our own country safer, more secure, and more prosperous.
Nature loss and climate change are at the heart of some of the biggest challenges we are facing, and they are growing worse. We need to double down on our efforts to change that trajectory. I believe the US should be investing much more in solutions to these problems, and I ask you to support significant increases to international conservation and climate programs in fiscal year 2023, including through USAID, the Global Environment Facility, and the Green Climate Fund.
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