Netherlands double contribution to climate panel IPCC

THE HAGUE (Xinhua) — The Netherlands will double its contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of this year and next year to 100,000 euros and invites other countries to do the same, Dutch Minister for the Environment Sharon Dijksma said on Friday.

Germany and Luxembourg will also increase their contribution while Sweden and France are considering to do so too, Dijksma told Dutch broadcaster NOS.

The IPCC, an international body for assessing the science related to climate change, mapping climate change and evaluating the climate plans of the 194 members of the Paris climate agreement, faces a financial deficit, following U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on cutting global carbon emissions.

With an annual payment of 1.8 million euros, the United States accounted for one third of the budget of the IPCC.

“This is an acute problem for the Paris Agreement as the IPCC is the driving force behind the implementation of the climate treaty. It is very important that the IPCC can continue to do its work,” said Dijksma.

The Dutch call for additional contributions to the IPCC will be discussed at the European Environment Council in Luxembourg, where all EU ministers for the environment will meet on Monday.

The Netherlands will contribute an additional 50,000 euros to a special report of the IPCC on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, said Dijksma.

The U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement also impacts the UN climate fund that helps poor countries combat climate change, such as drought and floods. Trump has decided not to transfer the remaining 2 billion dollar of the total U.S. contribution of 3 billion dollar to the fund.

“This concerns amounts of money that cannot be compensated by Europe alone. The new Dutch government will have to decide on how to take action, for example from the Netherlands and Europe,” said Dijksma. Dutch political parties are currently in talks to form a new cabinet following parliamentary elections in March.

As the fund is not provided only by government contributions, the Dutch minister hopes that individual American states, big companies and wealthy individuals will also join to fill the gap the United States left behind.

Earlier in January, when Washington decided to suspend annual funding of a range of family planning programs benefiting many millions of women in developing countries, the Netherlands also took action by launching “SHE DECIDES” global fundraising initiative to fill the funding gap. The Dutch government pledged to invest 10 million euros in this fund. (1 euro = 1.12 U.S. dollars).