Climate Change Integration

Climate change is a stressor that can affect social and economic development across sectors and in multiple ways. Hotter temperatures, unpredictable rains, and more intense droughts and storms can affect food crops, water supplies, livelihoods, coastlines, roads, infrastructure, and even national economic performance. The poorest countries and communities are most vulnerable to these risks.

At the same time, if we continue with “economic development as usual” we will increase greenhouse gas emissions, exacerbate climate impacts and increase vulnerability to climate change.

By factoring climate change into our development activities today, USAID aims to continue delivering sustainable development results well into the future. Such an approach requires working across economic sectors and looking beyond typical planning horizons to take a longer-term view. This can lead to better outcomes across all development sectors.

At USAID, we are working to integrate what we know about climate change into all of our programs—from agriculture and water, to energy and economic growth, to disaster risk reduction and other areas. Integrating climate change knowledge and practice into economic planning and development activities is the best way to ensure countries can adapt to climate and weather risks. It is also the best way to ensure countries can plan for low emission development and for the new risks and uncertainties a changing climate may bring.

USAID is training staff and partners to build climate expertise in a variety of sectors. Ongoing training and sharing of knowledge ensures we can provide countries with the climate change knowledge and good practice they need. We also integrate climate considerations into internal processes and strategies, such as the five-year Country Development and Cooperation Strategies developed by USAID missions.

Integration Pilots

One of the most effective ways to accelerate learning is to test what works on the ground. In 2012 and 2013, USAID launched nearly a dozen new Climate Change Integration Pilot Projects in Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Dominican Republic and other countries. These pilots are already generating valuable lessons about how to integrate climate change into development priorities and programs.

Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: December 16, 2013

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