Climate Change

Speeches Shim

A woman stands next to an olive tree, its boughs gently swaying in a breeze with leaves falling
USAID plays a vital role in mitigating climate change and addressing its impacts by working with partner countries to implement ambitious emissions reduction measures, protect critical ecosystems, transition to renewable energy, build resilience against the impacts of climate change, and promote the flow of capital toward climate-positive investments.

Climate Change

“We can no longer delay or do the bare minimum to address climate change. This is a global, existential crisis, and we’ll all suffer the consequences if we fail.”

President Joe Biden

Climate change is a threat that sees no borders and can harm us all. Around the world, temperatures and sea levels are rising. From more intense forest fires in California to more prolonged droughts in the Horn of Africa to recurring typhoons in Southeast Asia—much of the world is already experiencing the negative impacts of a changing climate.

Addressing the climate crisis must be a collective effort. The United States is committed to renewing our strong alliance in the effort to deal with the climate crisis and cooperating with our global partners to strengthen our climate ambition.

Climate change is not just an existential threat, it is currently threatening development progress and exacerbating global inequities; increasing water and food scarcity, the need for humanitarian assistance, and displacement; and contributing to conflict.

USAID plays a vital role in mitigating climate change and addressing its impacts by partnering with more than 45 countries to implement ambitious emissions reduction measures, protect critical ecosystems, transition to renewable energy, build resilience against the impacts of climate change, and promote the flow of capital toward climate-positive investments. We are also integrating climate considerations across USAID’s portfolio to protect development progress.

We have a narrow moment to pursue action in order to protect our environment and to seize the opportunity that tackling climate change presents. Together we can make a difference for a healthier and more prosperous planet.

Key Issues

  • Energy

    Supporting the transition to renewable energy and improving energy efficiency to reduce emissions and improve energy access.

  • Forests

    Reducing emissions by combating deforestation and improving conservation and management of carbon-rich forests and landscapes.

  • Safety

    Helping communities and countries better prepare for, respond to, and recover from climate-related disasters.

  • Food

    Strengthening global food and nutrition security by advancing climate-smart agriculture and increased resilience to droughts, rising temperatures, and changing rainfall patterns.

  • Water

    Helping people and economies deliver climate-resilient drinking water and sanitation, and manage water resources to cope with growing scarcity. And protecting our oceans by limiting climate impacts and addressing other critical threats, like ocean plastic pollution.

  • Air

    Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants which in turn improves public health, reduces poverty and inequality, and lessens climate change impacts.

News & Information

USAID’s 2021 Climate Readiness Plan

USAID’s Climate Readiness Plan outlines actions USAID will implement across the Agency’s operations management functions and programs to adapt to the effects of the changing climate.

USAID Climate Strategy External Engagement

In the first phase of the strategy development process, USAID conducted a robust and inclusive external engagement process with a wide range of stakeholders from across the globe to gather input, recommendations, and evidence to inform the foundations of the strategy.

USAID Climate Strategy

On Earth Day 2021, USAID announced its commitment to developing a new Agency climate strategy by November 2021 to be launched at the Conference of Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Leaders Summit on Climate: USAID Announcements

On April 22-23, President Biden hosted a virtual Leaders Summit on Climate to catalyze global ambition to address the climate crisis. The Summit convened world leaders to galvanize efforts to keep the vital goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach.

Webpage: USAID Launches New Climate Adaptation Page

The U.S. Agency for International Development launched a new webpage to highlight the Agency’s efforts and programs to adapt to the climate change and variability that is devastating communities around the world. USAID partners with more than 30 countries to strengthen their ability to manage the impacts of climate change in their communities—from droughts and floods, more intense storms, increasing temperatures and rising sea levels, climate impacts are pervasive across sectors and geographies.

Press Release: USAID Assists the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau to Secure $10.4 Million for Climate Change Adaptation

The U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), supported capacity building efforts in the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau, which in turn helped to secure $10.4 million in climate change-related grants from the Green Climate Fund (GCF). This funding will help the people of these two countries to be safer and more resilient to the impacts of climate change. Climate change is an existential threat to both nations.

Press Release: U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry Highlighted USAID Initiatives in India and Bangladesh to Combat Climate Change

During his April 5-9, 2021, visit to India and Bangladesh, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry highlighted several new initiatives from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in India and Bangladesh that will help combat climate change by expanding access to clean energy, strengthening climate-resilient infrastructure, and promoting clean energy entrepreneurship.

Press Release: United States Promotes Climate Resilient Infrastructure with $9.2 Million Commitment

Acting Administrator Gloria D. Steele announced today at the International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure that the United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will award up to $9.2 million to support the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) to help foster disaster and climate resilient infrastructure pending the availability of funds and Congressional approval.



A Flavorful Partnership

With support from USAID and McCormick, Malagasy vanilla farmers form cooperatives and harvest new opportunities. Vanilla generates a lot of income, and the vanilla orchid plants, which grow up the trunks of trees, need the forest for humidity and shade. These same forests also play a critical role in addressing the impacts of climate change. And so sustainably grown vanilla has the potential to protect forests and their ability to mitigate climate change, while providing the farmers with much needed income.


How 5 Young African Leaders Are Addressing Climate Change

USAID supports Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) alumni as they tackle the world’s most pressing issues. Knowing that the communities least responsible for causing climate change are often the most vulnerable to its impacts, USAID is working to elevate diverse local voices—including those of youth advocates for climate action—to ensure our work empowers often overlooked communities to be agents of change.


Harvesting the Bounty of the Sea

In the serene coastal village of Babuyan, on the Philippine island of Palawan, fisherfolk are venturing into seaweed farming for a sustainable future. Seaweed is one of the most effective natural ways of absorbing carbon emissions, and unlike trees, it does not compete with land needed for food production or present the risk of fires. The Philippines is one of the top producers of seaweed globally. The province of Palawan contributes a quarter of the country’s total seaweed production.


When Hope Flows With Water

Small-scale utilities in the Philippines bring clean water to local communities not connected to city water service providers. USAID is helping these communities identify water production challenges and integrate climate and disaster resilience into water safety planning.


The Lady of Fires

A woman helps Peru fight forest fires to protect its biodiversity and combat climate change. When the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu were threatened by forest fires last September, firefighter Jessica Morón and her wildland firefighting team battled the flames to protect the historic sanctuary and its surrounding biodiversity.


5 Ways USAID Empowers Women as Leaders Against the Climate Crisis

With a seat at the table, women contribute to decision making on natural resources and climate solutions. One of the greatest threats to our global community is climate change, and research shows women are more vulnerable than men to its consequences. But women and girls are not just victims of climate change—they are leading the way in designing and implementing climate change solutions.

Learn More

More information about USAID’s climate change programs and partnerships.

Last updated: October 07, 2021

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