Everyone working in international development can contribute to efforts to mainstream climate change considerations.
President Obama launched the Global Climate Change Initiative in 2010. At USAID we began integrating climate change considerations into all aspects of our development work when we adopted our Climate Change & Development Strategy soon thereafter. In some cases, this is fundamentally changing our approach. In other cases, we recognize that other issues are more crucial to the achievement of development objectives. By considering climate change, though, we render our work more sustainable in the long-term and contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Climate change integration requires holistic approaches, cross-sectoral teams and individuals who are committed to addressing development with a climate lens. All of us can contribute to climate change integration, as individuals, teams and organizations.
There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate. – President Obama
Here’s what you can do.
- Learn about climate change. Talk to climate change experts. Explore the resources and tools on Climatelinks.
- Identify climate vulnerabilities in your country and address them in strategies and project designs.
- Consider sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the country you work in. See USAID’s country-specific emissions factsheets, where available. Consider possible greenhouse gas emissions related to your project. Address emissions in your strategies and project designs. Also consider what you can do as an individual.
- Engage with your host country government and other partners. Contribute to their climate change priorities where you can and encourage them to integrate climate change into their own development efforts.
- Monitor, and where possible, evaluate how your work is addressing climate change.
- Communicate about how your organization is integrating climate change into its development work and share your results with other organizations, including by submitting resources and other information to Climatelinks.
- Talk with your colleagues and leadership about how you can better integrate climate change considerations.
- Put in place systems and processes that will help your office or organization better integrate climate change considerations. Consider establishing a cross-cutting climate change team or climate change points of contact who can support work in various sectors.
Specifically, USAID staff can:
- Take USAID’s Global Climate Change trainings.
- Include climate change experts on your Country Development Cooperation Strategy or Project Appraisal Document teams. Washington-based expertise is available if you don’t have access to experts locally.
- Integrate climate risk management in your work. Follow the Mandatory Reference on Climate Change in USAID Strategies and stay tuned for guidance at the project and activity level.
- Articulate climate change considerations in project design and ensure they are reflected in project management indicators and outcomes.
- Incorporate climate change into requests for proposals and assistance, including statements of work and selection criteria.
- Report on how your work is advancing climate change objectives. Use tools such as CLEER and AFOLU to help with this.
Integrating climate change into USAID’s development efforts is a work-in-progress, requiring both time and training within the agency and its implementing partners. But we believe it will pay off in the form of improved development outcomes. Whatever your sector, we hope that you can take concrete actions to address climate change in your work.
Climatelinks is a global knowledge portal for USAID staff, implementing partners, and the broader community working at the intersection of climate change and international development. The portal curates and archives technical guidance and knowledge related to USAID’s work to help countries mitigate and adapt to climate change.