USAID's Climate Strategy

USAID’s Global Climate Change and Development Strategy sets out principles, objectives and priorities for USAID climate change assistance from 2012 through 2016.

Our overarching strategic objective is to help developing countries speed their transition to climate resilient, low emission, sustainable economic growth. This means working together with developing countries to invest in low carbon growth and build resilience, while also slowing the pace of greenhouse gas emissions.

Our Priorities

USAID’s climate strategy has three objectives—Adaptation, Integration and Mitigation—and supporting these objectives, three priority types of activity—Adaptation, Clean Energy and Sustainable Landscapes.

  • Adaptation means helping countries and communities prepare for and adapt to climate change by building the resilience of people, places and livelihoods to climate change

  • Integration means factoring climate change knowledge and practice into all USAID programs—to ensure all our work in agriculture, energy, health, disaster preparedness, governance, peace and security and other areas—is climate resilient and, when possible, curbs carbon emissions.

  • Mitigation means helping countries slow or curb carbon emissions while promoting clean and sustainable economic development. USAID’s primary approach is to work with partner countries to promote Low Emission Development under our EC-LEDS program, described below.

Mitigation activities include:

  • Clean Energy means investing in renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, and also energy efficiency.

  • Sustainable Landscapes means promoting sustainable land-use planning and management in all landscapes, including Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD).

Flagship Programs

Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies (EC-LEDS) is a flagship U.S. program that has forged partnerships with more than 20 developing country governments—from Colombia to Indonesia to South Africa to Ukraine—who are planning and implementing low emission development strategies based on clean energy and sustainable land use.

The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 is a public-private alliance started by the United States and the Consumer Goods Forum—a network of more than 400 companies with over $3 trillion in annual sales—to curb tropical deforestation associated with key commodities such as palm oil, soy, beef, and pulp and paper. TFA 2020 partners include developing country and industrialized country governments, businesses and civil society organizations.

Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: February 26, 2014

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