President Obama unveiled a new Executive Order on “Climate-Resilient International Development” yesterday, which aims to climate-proof U.S. development assistance to ensure that developing countries can cope with the effects of a changing climate. The EO includes a description of the kinds of climate impacts that can effect development, including references to the heightened probability of conflict (both within and between nations).
From Section 1, Policy:
The adverse impacts of climate change, including sea-level rise, increases in temperatures, more frequent extreme precipitation and heat events, more severe droughts, and increased wildfire activity, along with other impacts of greenhouse gas emissions, such as ocean acidification, threaten to roll back decades of progress in reducing poverty and improving economic growth in vulnerable countries, compromise the effectiveness and resilience of U.S. development assistance, degrade security, and risk intranational and international conflict over resources.
The EO also encourages U.S. agencies responsible for international development to work with other entities in the “science and security” communities on improving information flows related to climate change. From Section 3, Enhancing Data, Tools, and Information for Climate-Resilient International Development:
Agencies with direct international development programs and investments and those that participate in multilateral entities shall work together with science and security agencies and entities, through the Working Group on Climate-Resilient International Development established in section 4 of this order, to identify and develop, as appropriate, data, decision-support tools, and information to allow the screening for and incorporation of considerations of climate-change risks and vulnerabilities, as appropriate, in strategies, plans, programs, projects, investments, and related funding decisions, including the planning for and management of overseas facilities.
The Working Group mentioned above (and established in Section 4 of the EO) will be co-chaired by “The Secretary of the Treasury and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, or their designees,” and will involve representatives from “science and security agencies and entities.”
For the full EO, click here.