2:18 PM EDT
Nita Lowey, D-NY 18th

Mrs. LOWEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I want to thank the gentleman from California for raising this important issue. As I have said repeatedly throughout the process of moving this bill to the House floor, I am deeply disappointed that this bill does not fulfill the U.S. commitment to the Global Environmental Facility.

Since its establishment in 1991, the GEF has provided $5 billion in grants, leveraged $16 billion in co-financing for projects in 140 countries around the world, has provided more than 4,000 grants directly to smaller organizations. The U.S. has provided close to $1 billion to the GEF over this same time frame.

The GEF is unique in its laser-like focus on environmental sustainability. It is the most effective way for the United States and other donor nations [Page: H5287]

to support biodiversity and prevent climate change.

House passage of the bill with no funding for the GEF will send a strong message, but I hope not the wrong message. I agree with the chairman that the U.S. should encourage transparency, responsibility, and accountability of the institution. And I hope that is what the international community takes away from today's debate.

However, I do believe that in cutting off all funding to the GEF, we run the risk of sending the message that the United States no longer supports the good work of the organization. I am pleased that today's discussion will clarify that this is not true, and I join the chairman and the gentleman from California (Mr. Royce) in looking forward to the August GEF Council meeting, which will hopefully include the adoption of a performance-based Resource Allocation Framework. I am optimistic

that the Senate will do the right thing by the GEF and that we will be able to provide the requested levels in conference. I look forward to working with the chairman and the gentleman from California (Mr. Royce) to see that this happens.

Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from California (Mr. Farr), who has been a real advocate for the environment.