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. This includes a specific goal to support structural changes that improve participation and leadership for Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and women and youth in all their diversity in climate action in at least 40 partner countries by 2030.
Concrete activities and investments to advance equity, inclusion, and accessibility include:
- USAID gender equality and gender-responsive climate action across climate sectors from policies to programs, including:
- Investing at least $14 million of the Gender Equity and Equality Action Fund toward gender-responsive climate programming. This includes activities that advance women’s leadership in climate action, increase women’s economic participation in Green Industries, and build women and girls’ resilience to climate shocks and stressors.
- Advancing partnerships with the U.S. Department of Energy and National Aeronautics and Space Administration to empower women as climate leaders and foster their economic empowerment.
- Scaling up USAID’s Advancing Gender in the Environment initiative, a partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, to provide tailored support to countries to develop climate change Gender Action Plans connected to their national climate strategies. It also Central to this will be continued support to the Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Environment Linkages Center, a platform for gathering resources and tools and forging action on the intersection of GBV and the environment; the Resilient, Inclusive, Sustainable Environments Challenge to prevent and respond to GBV in climate-related sectors; and
- Promoting gender equity and equality in mitigating and responding to climate change as a strategic priority of the U.S. Government National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality.
- USAID is also expanding its support for building the capacity, opportunities and resources for youth-led and youth serving organizations to advance climate action globally. Initiatives to be supported include scaleable agroforestry and reforestation efforts such as One Trillion Trees, waste management, conservation, and recycling programs, and new green job initiatives.
- USAID’s Diversity Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility (DEIA) Strategy and USAID internal climate justice reforms, which include a goal to continue increasing diversity of climate staff in USAID and its partners and assessing how climate change affects marginalized populations including LGBTQI+ people.
- USAID plans to provide funds to strengthen the governance of Indigenous Peoples and local communities over lands.
- USAID’s Disability Program Fund plans to support persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in responding to climate change, bolstering their resilience to the effects of climate change, and situating them to contribute to climate change response as positive agents of change and sources of solutions.
USAID’s ongoing and forthcoming equity and climate justice initiatives will advance the vision and goals of the Agency’s forthcoming 2022-2030 Climate Strategy.