United States Agency for International Development
USAID’s approach to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, help partner countries build resilience and improve its own operations.
Climate change is a global crisis. As temperatures and sea levels rise, people around the world are increasingly seeing heat waves, droughts, floods, cyclones and wildfires upend their lives. The effects of climate change are not equal — they disproportionately impact the poorest and most marginalized communities USAID works to support every day. Climate change affects virtually everything that USAID does and threatens the development progress it has supported over more than 60 years.
Climate change increases water and food scarcity, displacement and the need for humanitarian assistance, as well as contributes to conflict and disrupts economic stability. Yet, at the same time, USAID’s response presents an opportunity to improve livelihoods. Decarbonizing economies means less air pollution that negatively affects health. Building climate-resilient infrastructure means people are safer when disaster strikes and reduces the need for costly repairs after every storm. Investing in green jobs presents an opportunity to make workforces more equitable and inclusive.
That is why USAID has developed a new Climate Strategy that will guide its work through 2030. In order to reach ambitious climate targets, climate adaptation will be mainstreamed throughout USAID’s assistance portfolio. This new strategy takes a “whole-of-Agency” approach that calls on all corners of USAID to play a part in the response. USAID will work on the ground with partner governments and local actors to set the global trajectory toward a vision of a resilient, prosperous and equitable world with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Addressing the climate crisis requires a holistic approach to development. Every USAID sector and Mission has a role to play in transforming global systems like agriculture, energy, governance, infrastructure and health. This strategy includes six ambitious, high-level targets that reflect how a whole-of-Agency approach can increase USAID’s impact. USAID will update these 2030 targets and supplement them with interim targets throughout the strategy’s lifetime.
USAID’s Climate Strategy is built on several foundational principles, which will be incorporated into all planning and activities: Locally Led Development, Equity and Inclusion, Private Sector Engagement, Nature-Based Solutions and Evidence, Technology and Innovation.
Climate change affects the frequency, intensity and duration of extreme weather events, alters precipitation patterns, disrupts ecological systems and causes temperatures and sea levels to rise, which in turn exacerbate economic, sociocultural and ecological inequities. Advancing transformation of key systems and essential services can reduce emissions and enhance climate resilience. Nature-based solutions are essential to limiting global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius and adapting to climate change. Forests, peatlands and other ecosystems absorb and store large amounts of carbon, reduce disaster risk and support livelihoods, food and water security and health. USAID supports actions that build the climate resilience of populations and geographies that are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Improving access to resilient and lower-emission essential services can help ensure households and communities are able to adapt effectively to climate shocks and stresses.
The information provided on this website is not official U.S. government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.