The Trump administration has pulled the plug on a proposed cash pipeline that would have pumped millions of dollars into helping the Government of Colombia, or GOC, satisfy conditions of a United Nations climate-change accord.
In stark contrast, however, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, separately is preparing to deploy contractors worldwide to monitor U.S., regional, and international compliance with the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC.
The Colombia-specific program, unveiled last September, had been touted as the Obama administration’s flagship environmental initiative in that nation.
The status of this U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, Climate Change Program under Trump, however, recently received an update through a one-sentence modified contracting-notice that WND discovered during routine database research: “Due to refocus of Mission’s programmatic activities, this procurement is cancelled.”
Absent such a policy reversal, the endeavor would have slated upward of $40 million toward supporting the GOC “to prepare for the entry into force” of the UNFCCC Paris Agreement.
Although the agency last year had issued a draft statement of work – soliciting input from contractors and other interested parties before releasing multiple amendments to the plan – the Trump administration quashed the endeavor before USAID actually awarded contracts to carry out the Colombian program.
The termination of this particular foreign-assistance initiative comes at a time when presidential advisers are divided on whether the Trump administration should actually rescind the U.S. government’s commitment to abide by the Paris Agreement. President Trump, when campaigning for the presidency, had vowed to supporters that he would withdraw from the accord if elected.
This past week the White House reportedly cancelled a meeting aimed at addressing this issue, specifically because of that split among advisers.
The Colombian endeavor was just one of multiple climate-change programs unveiled in the final months of Barack Obama’ presidency.
As WND reported in December, among those climate-specific foreign aid projects was a $70 million venture to mitigate climate change in the “secondary cities” of Asia – the newest effort among literally dozens of existing climate-change endeavors that USAID under Obama had already implemented in 50 Asian cities.
USAID just before Inauguration Day released a request for bids in that project, but thus far has not awarded any contracts.
Despite the agency’s cancellation of the Colombian project, that sort of action appears – insofar as President Trump nears his first 100 days in office – to be an isolated incident rather than a trend.
EPA global outreach
Despite the Trump administration’s proposal to slash the EPA’s budget by billions – including a proposed $100 million discontinuation of various climate change programs – the EPA on Thursday (April 20) released details of its tentative plan to hire a corps of international climate-change evaluation contractors.
The agency’s Climate Change Division, or CCD, is considering hiring outside help to provide it with technical and support services such as the development of the annual “Inventory of U.S. GHG Emissions and Sinks” that is submitted to the U.N.
According to a draft statement of work, or SOW, additional services could include – “for the entire United States economy, for key domestic or world regions, or globally” – contractor analyses of greenhouse gas, or GHG, emissions and related mitigation strategies.
The draft SOW includes a component for the development of print and online “communications products” as well as a “media strategy” to disseminate EPA climate-change information.
Although most of the document entailed the assessment of climate-change initiatives, polices, and technologies, it also include a subsection calling for evaluation of the potential downside of “EPA regulatory actions and programs.”
Those costs and benefits include potential “burdens on affected parties (including small businesses), and effects on other government regulatory and policy priorities.”
Such a regulatory impact analysis would include assessments of how “regulatory actions comply with rulemaking-related Executive Orders and statutes.”
The EPA expects to award multiple Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contracts for a five-year period, beginning with a base year plus four one-year options. It anticipates releasing a final, formal solicitation in June.
EPA did not provide an estimated cost of this endeavor.