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

Stories

 

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

October 21, 2021

As an Agency that addresses the world’s toughest challenges, no challenge poses a greater threat to our planet than climate change. The scientific record is clear that carbon pollution is heating our planet -- threatening our health, safety, economy, and security. As the overwhelming scientific consensus in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report confirmed, if unchecked, the consequences of climate change will be catastrophic to life in the United States and in every country on the planet. A blanket of pollution has been created around the earth. This blanket traps heat and is dangerously heating the planet. Even if the world bands together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero tomorrow, the impacts of climate change are already here and are not going away - from punishing storms and devastating floods to grueling droughts, extreme heat waves, and raging wildfires.

October 7, 2021

Today, as part of President Biden’s whole-of-government approach to confronting the climate crisis, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) released its Climate Readiness Plan. The 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.

October 7, 2021

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.

September 15, 2021

As part of President Biden’s Leaders’ Summit on Climate in April, USAID committed to developing a new Agency climate strategy by November 2021 to be released at COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference. The strategy will build off of the previous strategy that ran from 2012-18 and 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.

August 9, 2021

Whether you are a climate expert or a gender expert, I invite you to connect with our experts at USAID in the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Hub, who have been at the forefront of research and programing at the intersection of climate and gender for years and are equipped and ready to provide technical support and resources to the interagency. We also want to hear from all of you. USAID is committing to gender-responsive climate action in its new Climate Strategy to be unveiled at COP26 and we invite the input of our colleagues. Together, we can break apart these silos between gender and climate, recognize the crucial role women have to play in mitigating and adapting to climate change, empower them to lead, and by doing so, ensure our fight against this crisis is more effective.

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