Climate and Climate Change in International Development at USAID

Authors: Donald Friend*, Minnesota State University
Topics: Development, Global Change, Anthropocene
Keywords: Climate Change, International Development, USAID
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 6
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the world’s largest donor to international development efforts thus it strongly influences development across the globe. Every USAID Mission abroad must produce a five-year strategic plan outlining its development goals. Approval of such plans goes through a rigorous multi-level internal approval process. All such plans were completed in 2019 and 2020 guiding implementation through 2024 for 100-plus Missions abroad. These strategic plans guide in-country and regional development programs as well as specific in-country and regional development activities implemented on-the-ground with local peoples. Development is inextricably tied to and impacted by climate and climate change: USAID has operationalized this fact and sets of circumstances by developing and integrating a comprehensive agency wide Climate Risk Management (CRM) program. All five-year strategic plans, as well as specific programs and activities, must undergo a CRM screening that considers (1) all potential and actual impacts of climate and climate change, (2) sources of and strategies to mitigate greenhouse gasses, and (3) clean energy alternatives. Results of spending one year as a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Jefferson Science Fellow serving as Senior Science Advisor in the Office of Global Climate Change at USAID conducting CRM screenings during a Presidential election are presented.

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