The below is attributable to Spokesperson Rebecca Chalif:
Today, Administrator Samantha Power participated in several events at COP26 to advance the United States’ global leadership in tackling the climate crisis, highlight USAID’s work on climate equity and emphasize the inextricable link between the climate crisis and gender inequity.
The Administrator met with Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, to discuss ways to strengthen collaboration between USAID and the Department of Interior in conserving the environment and supporting Indigenous Peoples and local communities at home and abroad. Administrator Power and Secretary Haaland then participated in an event—Saving Nature to Save Ourselves—at the U.S. Center at COP26. Administrator Power’s remarks highlighted USAID’s commitment to working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples and local communities to preserve our natural resources and fight climate change. Administrator Power announced USAID’s new target to support structural changes that improve participation and leadership for Indigenous Peoples, local communities, women, and youth in climate action in at least 40 partner countries by 2030. She also reiterated the Agency’s ambitious new target to support the protection, restoration, or management of 100 million hectares of critical landscapes—an area more than twice the size of California—and to prevent six billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 2030.
Later, Administrator Power joined Norwegian Minister for International Development Anne Beathe Kristiansen Tvinnereim and Power Africa Coordinator Mark Carrato to sign a renewed Memorandum of Understanding to commit to continuing support for hydropower and renewable energy projects, advancing transmission line development, facilitating regional power trade through power pools, mobilizing institutional capital, supporting women’s empowerment, improving feasibility studies and environmental and social impact assessments, and improving energy access for displaced populations, including working with the Smart Communities Coalition to electrify refugee camps and health clinics.
She then delivered remarks at the U.S. Center event titled, Investing in Our Future: The Agricultural Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate), alongside Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsak; Minister of Climate Change and Environment for the United Arab Emirates Mariam bin Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UN Foundation President Elizabeth Cousens and Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. Administrator Power reinforced USAID’s leading role in AIM for Climate, an initiative led by the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates which supports increasing research and innovation in climate-smart agriculture, and announced that the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Current and Emerging Threats to Crops is being awarded to Pennsylvania State University. She highlighted USAID’s commitments to climate-smart agriculture, including planned investments of at least $215 million over five years to support the critical work of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future, to help 200 million people raise agricultural productivity in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa by 25 percent by 2030.
Later, Administrator Power and Rockefeller Foundation Executive Vice President Elizabeth Yee signed a memorandum of understanding forming the basis of a new strategic partnership between USAID, Power Africa, and the newly launched Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet. The partnerships will advance the goals of ending energy poverty in Africa, combating climate change, and strengthening the enabling environment for clean energy. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Coons—original sponsors of the 2015 Electrify Africa Act, which established Power Africa—joined the event.
Administrator Power then joined women on the frontlines of the fight to combat climate change and senior officials from a range of U.S. Government agencies for an event at the U.S. Center titled, Our Climate Future Is Female: Women and Girls Leading Climate Action. The Administrator moderated a conversation with Graciela Coy, President and legal representative of Ak’ Tenamit, a Mayan organization that supports Indigenous communities in Guatemala, and Nisreen Elsaim, Chair of UN Secretary General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change and Chair of Sudan Youth Organization on Climate Change. Administrator Power discussed a suite of programs and targets to advance Global Action for Climate Equity, including announcing that USAID will invest $14 million from its Gender Equity and Equality Action Fund toward investments in gender-responsive climate programming and a scaling up USAID’s Advancing Gender in the Environment partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Administrator Power then attended a bipartisan panel conversation with legislators on bridging the divide on climate.