As we count down the days until the end of life as we know it, it’s clear that President Obama is preemptively passing as many executive actions as he can before he hands over the White House to Donald Trump.
From permanently protecting Planned Parenthood from being defunded by the pro-life, and possibly anti-women, President-elect to blocking oil and gas drilling in US-owned waters of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans from a cabinet made up of climate-change-deniers, President Obama is on a roll.
But there’s just one more thing he needs to do before the US government comes under Trump administration control.
Last year, when the historic Paris Climate Agreement was signed, the UN Green Climate Fund was a major aspect in realistically figuring out how the 194 countries were going to work together to keep global warming well below a 2°C (3.6°F) rise.
The fund was set up in 2010 by wealthy countries to aid poorer countries in the transition to greener energy. The US pledged $3 billion to the fund, nearly a third of the $10.3 billion total, although so far it has only paid $500 million.
Now, a petition – backed by over 100 climate change-fighting organizations and signed by 70,000 people so far – is calling for the President to hand over the remaining $2.5 billion before Trump takes over and finds a way to weasel out of it.
Time is, literally, of the essence.
The coalition of human rights and environmental groups, which includes Friends of the Earth, 350.org, the Center for International Environmental Law, and the League of Conservation Voters, have teamed up with Corporate Accountability International to sign a letter to the President urging him to take action now before it is too late.
“We are deeply concerned about the future of our planet following the election of Donald J. Trump as president. And we are especially concerned about our nation’s direction on climate change under a Trump presidency," the letter states. "The world cannot afford Donald Trump’s steps backward on climate.“
The letter also points out, “As the nation with the greatest historical responsibility for carbon emissions and the resultant damage wrought by climate change, the U.S. has a moral imperative to support countries dealing with these impacts, and to ensure that the international negotiations do not fail.”
350.org’s founder, Bill McKibben, said in a statement: “The debt for the damage inflicted on the global climate by American carbon will never be fully repaid – and the Trump administration can be counted on to do nothing for the most vulnerable people on the planet.”
“This is one of the only things Obama can do now that Trump can’t undo,” added Jesse Bragg from Corporate Accountability International. “Once those funds are transferred, Trump won’t be able to take them back.”
Your move, Obama.