JANUARY 24, 2013
American taxpayers should prepare to dole out a chunk of change for yet another global initiative—this one headed by a former Mexican president—that needs hundreds of billions of dollars annually to tackle climate change through “green infrastructure investment.”
Launched over the summer in Los Cabos, the Green Growth Action Alliance is a “global action-focused agenda for clean energy” headed by former Mexican President Felipe Calderon and it needs money, lots of it. For starters the new alliance claims there’s a $1 trillion annual shortfall in green infrastructure investment that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and all the other evil stuff that’s ruining the planet.
The idea is to get corporations with deep pockets to help out, but “public funding” is essential to “leverage private investment.” The money will promote free trade in green goods and services, achieve robust carbon pricing, end inefficient subsidies and other forms of fossil fuel support and accelerate low-carbon innovation. Undoubtedly, the U.S. is expected to provide a major portion of the funding for this new endeavor which is dear to President Obama’s heart.
This week, at an annual forum of world leaders in Switzerland, the Green Growth Action Alliance will promote its agenda and, undoubtedly hit prosperous countries like the U.S. up for money. The yearly powwow, which aims to shape global, regional and industry agendas, will offer a world stage for the Green Alliance to present its new report that determines “greening” global economic growth requires a $700 billion yearly investment that must span decades.
Calderon, whose Mexican presidency ended in November, says it’s clear that the world is facing a “climate crisis” with impacts to the global economy that could be devastating. The key to solving this potential devastation is to gather lots of government cash to meet this critical “climate challenge.” In the report Calderon puts it a bit more diplomatically, writing that “additional investment is needed to meet the climate challenge…” His ideal figure is $7 trillion per year!
The Obama Administration has already spent billions of dollars to save the developing world from the presumed ills of global warming, mainly through a program called Global Climate Change Initiative. In 2009 the administration gave $323 million to the program and the figure nearly tripled to $939 million in 2010. In 2011 funding dropped slightly to $819 million and in 2012 it dipped a bit more to $773 million. Last spring the administration asked Congress for an additional $770 million.
Uncle Sam has also funded other foreign programs that aim to counter global warming. For instance, a few years ago the U.S. spent $50 million to replace “inefficient cook stoves” that contribute to climate change and deforestation in developing countries. That check was made out to the Global Alliance for Clean Cook Stoves, which is run by the famously corrupt United Nations. Just last summer the administration invested $20 million in a green energy venture in Africa that’s supposed to create renewable energy in that part of the world.
Domestically, the government has also wasted huge sums on preposterous green projects. For instance, it blew $21 million to install thousands of solar panels at a Navy base that are supposed to save money by lowering utility bills. Instead it will take an astounding 447 years to benefit from the investment! Who can forget the boondoggle of them all; the northern California solar panel company (Solyndra) that folded after bilking taxpayers out of $535 million, an allocation pushed through by the White House.
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