Climate Change

Speeches Shim

A woman stands next to an olive tree, its boughs gently swaying in a breeze with leaves falling
Increasing global climate action is essential to protect our development gains and progress sustainable development in our partner countries. USAID’s climate programs don’t just help limit warming and protect critical ecosystems—they create sustainable jobs, tackle historical inequality, and build stronger communities.

“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



Betting Big on Renewables

Meet Arman, an energy specialist from Kazakhstan. He wants to fight climate change and believes renewable energy is key to the solution. With USAID assistance, Kazakhstan met its renewable energy goal in 2020 and is now working toward 50 percent renewable energy by 2050.


A Flavorful Partnership

With support from USAID and McCormick, Malagasy vanilla farmers form cooperatives and harvest new opportunities. 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. USAID is working to elevate diverse local voices—including those of youth advocates for climate action—to empower often overlooked communities to be agents of change.


Harvesting the Bounty of the Sea

In the village of Babuyan, on the Philippine island of Palawan, fisherfolk are venturing into seaweed farming for a sustainable future. Seaweed is an effective natural way to absorb carbon emissions, and unlike trees, it does not compete with land needed for food 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.

News & Information

Last updated: November 09, 2021

November 6, 2021

On November 6 at COP26, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power announced a suite of programs and targets to advance Global Action for Climate Equity.

November 3, 2021

On November 3, Administrator Samantha Power announced a major new initiative to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions as part of the U.S. Government’s efforts to combat the climate crisis. USAID will support partner countries to prevent six billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 2030. This cumulative amount is roughly equal to total U.S. domestic emissions for one year or the equivalent of removing more than 1 billion gasoline powered cars from the road for one year.

November 3, 2021

Administrator Samantha Power announced new USAID programs in support of the Plan to Conserve Global Forests: Critical Carbon Sinks, which President Biden announced at COP26 on November 2. The plan—the first of its kind for the U.S. Government—outlines how the U.S. will help protect the Amazon rainforest and other critical ecosystems worldwide that sequester large quantities of greenhouse gases. Conserving these ecosystems is essential for combating the climate crisis.

November 3, 2021

As President Biden’s Plan to Conserve Global Forests and Critical Carbon Sinks has made clear, conserving tropical forests is no longer merely a stop-gap—it is one of the most important steps we can take to mitigate climate change while reducing the risk of disease spillover and potential future pandemics. Healthy, intact forests are critical for our survival and deliver a wealth of benefits: from the clean air and water they provide, to food and critical medicines. They conserve key biodiversity, store carbon, and shield people from extreme weather, and provide livelihoods to people around the world.

November 3, 2021

On Earth Day 2021, USAID announced its commitment to developing a new Agency climate strategy, which will guide the Agency’s efforts to target climate change resources strategically, ramp up climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts, and further integrate climate change considerations into international development and humanitarian assistance programs across all sectors.