Climate Change Response (Bilateral)
FY2016 Funding Recommendation:
President's FY2016 Request
InterAction's FY2016 Recommendation
Through the U.S. Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI), bilateral climate funds help the most vulnerable countries adapt to adverse climate impacts. These funds also help countries mitigate greenhouse gas emissions through clean energy development and sustainable landscape management. Reports by the World Bank, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and others document the already widespread human suffering and economic damage caused by extreme weather and other impacts of temperature increases.
Bilateral investments addressing climate change and extreme weather are essential to meet the basic needs of poor people for climate-resilient development. Investments in adaptation, clean energy, and sustainable landscapes promote global security, minimize instability, reduce the cost of disasters, address global hunger and health, protect long-standing U.S. investments in global development and conservation, and increase economic opportunities for U.S. businesses and workers. Every $1 invested in adaptation can generate returns of $1.45-$3.03; if the U.S. had just 14% of the clean technology market in the developing world, we could create 280,000-850,000 new jobs in the U.S.
Consistent with the President’s FY2015 budget request and the Senate FY2015 appropriations bill, InterAction recommends FY2016 funding levels of $506.25 million for GCCI bilateral assistance, including: $193.3 million for adaptation and mitigation; $189.45 million for clean energy; and $123.5 million for sustainable landscapes programs. This recommended level includes funding for the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). It also includes funding from the International Organizations & Programs account for the IPCC / UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Montreal Protocol to support adaptation, mitigation, and clean energy programming.
Creating courses to combat climate change
Forested areas cover approximately one-quarter of the Asia-Pacific region, providing a wide array of benefits. Cambodia’s forests play an important role for 85% of the rural population. However, they are disappearing rapidly. Cambodia’s forests are being destroyed at a rate of 0.5% per year. The clearing of the forests leads to higher greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to global climate change.
Professor Bunleng Se knew that his home country of Cambodia was vulnerable to climate change.Yet Se, who teaches at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, struggled to convey the true implications of climate change to his students. That changed when Se joined 32 other professors from 12 Southeast Asian universities and three U.S. universities to develop and test climate change teaching materials. Through the USAID-funded Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forests (LEAF) regional program, Se and his team developed four climate change modules: basic climate change, forest carbon monitoring and measurement, low emission land use planning, and social and environmental soundness.
Se now incorporates these new materials into his courses, and his students are more actively engaged. They are also better able to describe technical concepts like climate methodology and the effects of greenhouse gas emissions.
“I am more confident in my teaching methods and the materials I use, and better able to inspire my students to understand, care about, and tackle climate change,” he says.
Photo Credit: Nicole Kravec/Winrock International