USAID's Robust Targets to Advance President Biden's PREPARE Climate Initiative
At COP-26, USAID announced an ambitious set of targets to advance the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE). PREPARE will support developing countries and communities in vulnerable situations around the world in their efforts to adapt to and manage the impacts of climate change. These impacts are already being felt, and USAID brings significant experience to bear on supporting the climate resilience of developing countries.
Central to PREPARE is equitable, inclusive development that addresses the needs of frontline communities experiencing the disproportionate impacts of climate change. These communities have long endured multiple forms of inequity and insecurity that are compounded by harmful climate impacts. Adaptation is integral to empowering and safeguarding these communities and ensuring an equitable future as we tackle the climate crisis. PREPARE will serve as the cornerstone of the U.S. government response to operationalizing the President's pledge and addressing the increasing impacts of the global climate crisis.
PREPARE activates a coordinated, whole-of-government approach and will serve as the framework that brings together the diplomatic, development, and technical expertise of the United States to support more than half a billion people in developing countries adapt to and manage the impacts of climate change through locally-led development by 2030, which tracks with the timeline for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.
Through PREPARE, the United States will respond to partner countries' adaptation priorities, strengthen cooperation with other donors, integrate climate risk considerations into multilateral efforts, and strive to mobilize significant private sector capital for adaptation. As a result, PREPARE will help save lives and livelihoods, support sustainable and healthy communities and ecosystems, and reduce the impacts of climate-related disasters.
USAID is central to the PREPARE response, utilizing its long standing, on-the-ground partnerships to strengthen the climate resilience of governments and communities through sustainable development and humanitarian assistance. USAID already prioritizes efforts to anticipate and address an array of disruptions, reduce disaster risk, and build resilience for the most vulnerable populations. USAID brings a long history of building successful partnerships with the public and private sectors, civil society, and researchers to develop and advance climate-smart solutions; to date, the Agency has helped over 12,000 institutions better assess and proactively address climate risks. With the launch of its new climate change strategy, USAID is setting ambitious timelines and targets for reducing global emissions, increasing adaptation, and mobilizing climate and risk financing that will ensure we are supporting even more countries to adapt to the impacts of the climate crisis.
1) PREPARE Knowledge: Information is Power
USAID aims to deepen global understanding of climate risks, vulnerabilities, and adaptation solutions while supporting expanded development, innovation, and delivery of climate information and services, decision support tools, and early warning systems. Evidence indicates that climate information services not only average a one to 24 return on investment, but also advance income and productivity gains.
USAID PREPARE Knowledge Commitments:
- USAID intends to bolster climate adaptation and resilience in Central America by expanding critical climate information and services to the region through the SERVIR program. SERVIR is a partnership of USAID, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and leading geospatial organizations around the world that uses free, open satellite data to build resilience to climate change and address contributing causes stemming from land use.
- Under the Climate and Weather Ready Nations program, USAID and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), plan to train local climate forecasters, and leaders to predict climate hazards and impacts, strengthen hydrometeorological early warning systems to save lives, and expand climate observations through 3-D printed automated weather stations around the world.
2) PREPARE Plans and Programs: Mainstream and Integrate Adaptation, Build Relationships, Execute
In low- and middle-income countries, some 2.5 billion people make a living that depends on climate-sensitive activities like agriculture, pastoralism, and fisheries. Yet climate change threatens both livelihoods and lives. USAID will strive to foster country-led solutions and improve the capacity of national and local governments to assess and embed climate risks into their budgets, plans, policies, and operations with the ultimate objective of translating priorities into bankable projects. Further, USAID seeks to build on for the President’s Malaria Initiative, President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), maternal and child health programs, and the Global Health Security Agenda, among others, to improve infectious disease surveillance, strengthen local health systems and enhance primary care services to respond and adapt to climate change risks. This will also serve to increase health system resilience and readiness, and rapidly increase the number of people benefitting from early warning systems, a coordinated public health response and community health services.
USAID also plans to support locally-led adaptation that enables Indigenous peoples, vulnerable communities, and marginalized populations to meaningfully participate in and lead adaptation-related decisions.
USAID PREPARE Plans and Programs Targets:
- Invest at least $215 million over five years to support CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food secure future, to help 200 million people raise agricultural productivity in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa by 25 percent by 2030.
- USAID is funding the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Current and Emerging Threats to Crops, led by Pennsylvania State University, and the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture, led by the University of California, Davis. The Current and Emerging Threats to Crops Innovation Lab will leverage Pennsylvania State University’s expertise in pest management, its global networks, and its proven Plant Village approach to tackle transboundary pests and disease exacerbated by climate change. The Horticulture Innovation Lab will address the opportunities and challenges of production, post-harvest, enterprise development and commercialization while promoting resilient climate-smart systems that also reduce food loss and waste. Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative led by USAID, partners with U.S. universities to tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges in agriculture and food security.
- USAID and the State Department are answering the call to support vulnerable countries around the world in their efforts to develop, implement, and finance their adaptation priorities, as communicated in their National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and other adaptation planning documents. USAID plans to provide support to the African Union, African countries, and additional high-risk countries to strengthen their capacity to implement strong NAPs and NDCs. USAID will also develop guidance and work with countries to support the development and implementation of strong NAPs.
- USAID, in coordination with other U.S. government agencies and partners, intends to support partner countries in achieving their commitments made in alignment with the World Health Organization’s Initiatives on Climate Resilient Health Systems and Sustainable, Low Carbon Health Systems. USAID’s targets include support for conducting vulnerability and adaptation assessments at population or health facility levels, developing and implementing Health National Adaptation Plans, facilitating access to climate financing for health, conducting baseline assessments of health sector greenhouse gas emissions, and creating and implementing action plans to develop low carbon sustainable health systems.
- The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) as part of its new Strategy, End Malaria Faster, plans to work with partner countries to adapt programs to changing conditions such as the timing of insecticide spraying campaigns in response to shifting rainfall patterns. To better understand and prepare for climate change impacts on health systems, PMI is also investing in regional analysis in malaria case trends and modeling of climate data to better predict malaria outbreaks and changes in malaria distribution and seasonality.
3) PREPARE Resources: Mobilizing Finance and Private Capital
USAID strives to accelerate financing of adaptation measures by supporting multiple climate and disaster risk finance strategies, strengthening capacity to access finance for adaptation and develop bankable investments by creating incentives and reducing risk for private investment. These efforts build off USAID targets made at the Leaders’ Climate Summit to increase climate finance to countries most vulnerable to climate change, including pledging to support doubling the amount of private sector investments for adaptation and resilience in 20 countries particularly vulnerable to climate change stresses.
USAID PREPARE Resources Targets:
- USAID will launch the Green Recovery Investment Platform (GRIP), which will invest up to $250 million to mobilize $2.5 billion of private finance for adaptation and mitigation by 2027 by creating incentives and reducing risks for large-scale private investment to address the climate finance gap. GRIP will accelerate the global transition to an equitable, resilient net-zero economy while contributing to an inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- USAID intends to mobilize $1 billion of public and private finance for climate-resilient water and sanitation services by 2030. USAID will provide technical assistance to utility companies in partner countries for them to attract commercial financing and international public climate finance, enhance domestic budget allocations, and adjust user fees to upgrade and expand climate resilient water and sanitation infrastructure and services. This will enable utilities to confront increased floods, droughts, and sea level rise as a foundation for climate resilience.
- USAID and the State Department will contribute $21.8 million to disaster risk financing in Africa so that African countries can access and layer disaster risk financing, including insurance coverage, needed to successfully manage increasingly frequent and intense climate-related extreme weather events. The funding includes $9.9 million over five years to the Financial Resilience Program; $9.3 million over five years to the African Risk Capacity (ARC) Replica, and $2.5 million for one year to the Africa Disaster Risk Financing (ADRiFi) Programme.
- USAID plans to invest at least $100 million over five years, leveraged by an equal or greater amount from private sector partners, in the sustainable conservation of forests and the well-being, prosperity, and resilience of local communities. Under cross-sectoral partnership programs including Health, Ecosystems, and Agriculture for Resilient Thriving Societies (HEARTH = Heart + Earth) and Cocoa for Climate, USAID investments will conserve forests and promote sustainable agriculture, mitigating climate change and reducing the risks of disease while also helping communities adapt to climate change.