Office of Global Climate Change

Training workers to properly install solar panels at health clinics in Rwanda provides clean energy and creates green jobs.
Training workers to properly install solar panels at health clinics in Rwanda provides clean energy and creates green jobs.
Walt Ratterman, Sunepi

The Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment supports other USAID Bureaus and Missions, as well as partner countries and communities around the world, to help them access the data, tools and support they need to address climate change. E3 also works to integrate climate change considerations into programs across USAID’s development portfolio via training, applied research and support for mission-led projects. 

In all, USAID support for climate-smart development reaches more than 50 countries around the world, with more than $300 million per year. About two-thirds of this support is delivered in-country by USAID missions. One-third is delivered through regional and global programs, which provide policy and technical expertise as well as information, tools and solutions. E3 supports key global programs including:

  • EC-LEDS: Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies is a flagship U.S. climate change program led by USAID and the State Department. E3 coordinates the EC-LEDS program within USAID, managing the technical support provided by U.S. government agencies to two dozen partner countries around the world. Low Emission Development Strategies help ensure that climate investments support coherent national frameworks that put countries on a path to low-carbon growth and ultimately lower emissions.
  • SERVIR-Global is a partnership between USAID and NASA that is helping countries and communities around the world access and use satellite data, geospatial information and more than 60 tailored decision-support tools to forecast floods, manage land use, detect fires and monitor droughts and other climate-linked risks. SERVIR reaches about 40 countries through a network of regional hubs, established with leading science institutions in East Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa, Mesoamerica and the Hindu Kush-Himalaya and Lower Mekong regions. 
  • SilvaCarbon helps more than half a dozen tropical forest nations identify and fill critical gaps in their capacity to map, monitor and manage the carbon stored in tropical forests.

USAID Strategy and Program Focus

USAID’s climate change work is guided by a five-year Global Climate Change and Development Strategy (2012-2016). The three overarching objectives of the strategy are to support emissions reduction while achieving growth, adaptation to climate change and the integration of good climate change practice into development programs and operations.

  • Adaptation means building the climate resilience of people, places and livelihoods by working with countries and communities to help identify and address climate risks and vulnerabilities. USAID places a special emphasis on providing adaptation support to least-developed African countries, glacier-dependent areas and small island states. 
  • Mitigation means working to curb greenhouse gas emissions while spurring clean, low-carbon economic growth. USAID’s mitigation efforts include two core activities:
    • Clean energy work provides support for the deployment of clean and renewable energy sources, sustainable energy systems, and efficient energy end-use. 
    • Sustainable landscapes work provides support for changing emissions trends from unsustainable management of tropical forests, as well as farms, fields and other landscapes.
  • Integration means ensuring that climate change knowledge and practice is applied, whenever and wherever appropriate, across all economic sectors and all development activities, from food security to disaster preparedness to water resource management, to ensure the success of investments 


USAID’s mission is to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies to advance our security and prosperity. Our climate has changed: temperature extremes, more intense droughts and storms, and less predictable rains and harvests put our mission at risk. It is critical today that we mobilize climate-smart planning and emerging technologies to promote global development that is clean, sustainable and climate-resilient.

USAID’s climate change work reaches across development programs and activities. Key results include:

  • 26 country partners for low-carbon development: USAID and the U.S. State Department have forged high-level partnerships with 26 countries that have 18 percent of global emissions, all committed to achieving clean, low-carbon growth. Under the Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies (EC-LEDS) program, USAID provides countries with technical support to reach this goal.
  • 52,000 megawatts of clean energy: USAID partner countries receiving focused - primarily wind and solar - clean energy support have installed 52,000 megawatts of clean energy capacity; enough to power 13 million American homes and many more than that in developing countries.
  • 5.3 million people accessing and using climate information to make better decisions: USAID programs have reached 5.3 million people (fiscal years 2010-2015) with better climate information to make smarter decisions for crops, homes, lives and livelihoods. Many of these people are meteorological experts or agricultural extension workers who share knowledge, helping still more people make smarter decisions. 
  • $3.4 billion mobilized: USAID mobilized more than $3.4 billion in additional private and public sector resources for climate change work through the end of fiscal year 2014 by partnering with local governments, businesses and civil society organizations.

E3’s Partners

USAID carries out its climate change work in partnership with dozens of government, business and civil society partners, sharing U.S. expertise with countries and communities around the world. Within the U.S. Government, USAID works in close partnership with the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Treasury Department to advance President Obama’s Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI), a broad U.S. commitment to engage with global partners to curb greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience to climate change. 

USAID on-the-ground support countries to participate effectively in global climate change discussions taking place under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and increasingly in other contexts.  For more information on global discussions, visit the U.S. State Department’s Global Climate Change page.

For More Information

Last updated: September 13, 2016

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