One of the first great things that President Trump did was to rescind a lot of Obama’s wrongheaded climate change directives, in March 2017. As it turns out, however, Team Trump missed a big one. Either that or they let it slide for questionable reasons.
The directive in question is Obama’s Executive Order 13677, titled “Climate-Resilient International Development.” This Order basically instructs all Federal Agencies to incorporate climate change alarmism into all foreign activities, especially in the roughly $40 billion a year we spend on foreign aid.
Here is how the 2014 Executive Order 13677 puts it:
“The world must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to prevent the most dangerous consequences of climate change. Even with increased efforts to curb these emissions, we must prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The adverse impacts of climate change, including sea-level rise, increases in temperatures, more frequent extreme precipitation and heat events, more severe droughts, and increased wildfire activity, along with other impacts of greenhouse gas emissions, such as ocean acidification, threaten to roll back decades of progress in reducing poverty and improving economic growth in vulnerable countries, compromise the effectiveness and resilience of U.S. development assistance, degrade security, and risk intranational and international conflict over resources.
This order requires the integration of climate-resilience considerations into all United States international development work to the extent permitted by law. Dedicated U.S. climate-change adaptation funds are critical to managing the risks posed by climate-change impacts in vulnerable countries. Coping with the magnitude of the consequences of accelerating climate change also requires enhanced efforts across the Federal Government’s broader international development work. Consideration of current and future climate-change impacts will improve the resilience of the Federal Government’s broader international development programs, projects, investments, overseas facilities, and related funding decisions. The United States will also promote a similar approach among relevant multilateral entities in which it participates.”
This is as clear a statement of climate change alarmism as one can imagine and it is still in force throughout the federal government. The false goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions means that poorer developing countries will be denied US aid to develop affordable, reliable electric power. Coal and gas are out in favor of unreliable wind and solar.
This particularly hurts Sub-Saharan Africa, where only a small fraction of the people has access to electricity. Under this Order aid is being restricted to expensive gimmicks like solar and wind powered electricity.
Not only is EO 13677 still in force, but so are all the Agency directives that implement it. For example, there is USAID’s so-called “Climate Change and Development Strategy” directive. USAID provides about 50% of all US foreign aid so this is a big deal. This directive specifically mandates investment in wind and solar energy. It also calls for so-called “decarbonization” of developing countries that receive US foreign aid. This is the same nonsensical scheme for replacing reliable fossil fuel generated electricity with intermittent renewables that President Trump has terminated in America.
This USAID alarmist strategy directive was originally dated for 2012-2016, so it would have ended with the Obama Presidency. It actually predates EO 13677 and it reads like the source for much of the Executive Order. But incredibly it has been extended until at least September 2018, so it is still very much in force, probably because the Order is too.
Why this far reaching alarmist Executive Order was not rescinded with the rest in March 2017 is something of a mystery. This cannot have been an oversight, so it is likely tied to the internal Trump policy debate at that time about staying or leaving the Paris Agreement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. That debate was settled by leaving, making this nonsensical Order completely unnecessary diplomatically.
Whatever the reason, potentially billions of dollars of foreign aid for electricity are being denied to poor people in poor countries as a result of this incredible blunder. President Trump needs to quickly and decisively repeal EO 13677, as well as all of the agency policies that have been developed to implement this onerous Order.