Among the key energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean transportation cuts Republicans are proposing in their quest to eliminate $2.5 trillion in spending, is a recommendation that the U.S. withdraw funding for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The IPCC does not do original research nor does it prescribe policies. Instead, it synthesizes available science on climate change to help the public and policymakers make sense of the evolving science.
The funding supports logistical costs for organizing research from thousands of scientists from around the world who work without direct compensation for their considerable time and effort drafting, reviewing and editing IPCC documents.
The document released by the Republican Study Committee assumes the US spends a paltry $12.5 million a year as its contribution to the IPCC. According to the IPCC, however, its total projected 2011 budget is less than $10 million. US funding has fluctuated between about $200,000 and $5.6 million over the history of the IPCC.
"It's bad enough that some of these policymakers have chosen to put on blinders when it comes to climate science and protecting Americans from climate change," said Lexi Shultz, Climate and Energy Legislative Director of the Union of Concerned Scientists. "Now they're trying to cut funding from a distinguished panel that sheds light on these issues for the entire world."
"It's sad that members of Congress who refuse to recognize scientific reality continue to obstruct efforts to reduce global warming emissions and go after the IPCC. Many U.S. scientists contribute to the IPCC's efforts and they represent some of our nation's best minds," Shultz said. "At the very least, the public deserves to know just how serious the risks of climate change are and not be misled by politicians who continue to block progress on clean energy."