Climate Change Response (Bilateral)

FY2017 Funding Recommendation:  
$548.50 million 

 

Funding History

       Enacted   

       President's FY2017 Request   

       InterAction's FY2017 Recommendation

 *Data unavailable


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Justification

 Key Facts

  • By 2050, 50 million more people – equivalent to the population of Spain – will be at risk of going hungry because of climate change.

  • By 2050, there could be 25 million more malnourished children under the age of five compared to a world without climate change – the equivalent of every child under the age of five in the U.S. and Canada combined.

  • By 2050, the warming and acidification of oceans due to climate change is projected to result in the classification of nearly all coral reefs as threatened, which would adversely impact reef fisheries and the approximately 500 million people who rely on these ecosystems for their livelihoods.

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.

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:

USAID’s climate programs are designed to build climate change resilience in vulnerable communities around the globe, including small-scale food producers struggling to adapt their farming practices. Targeted, well-planned investments in climate resilience and adaptation are helping communities in developing countries build capacity to adapt to and prepare for impacts such as severe weather events, decreased water availability, and shifting seasons and disease vectors. The State Department’s climate contributions to the Least Developed Country Fund (LDCF) and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) (which focuses on Small Island States and other vulnerable non-LDC countries) are also highly effective in helping countries to develop and implement climate resilience plans in agriculture, health, water, and energy.

Development Assistance funds provide critical support to implement climate programs that build resilience and adaptive capacity of poor communities in developing countries as well as  integrate effective adaptation strategies into current development projects.

InterAction requests FY2017 funding for the GCCI to support adaptation, clean energy, and sustainable landscapes programs.

Consistent with the FY2016 Senate appropriations bill, InterAction recommends FY2017 funding levels of at least $548.5 million for GCCI, including: $176.71 million for adaptation; $177.79 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 mitigation and clean development transitions.

Success Story

Helping Women and Smallholder Farmers Adapt to Climate Change

Weather patterns have changed dramatically due to climate change since Elita Banda, a 43-year-old smallholder farmer in Zambia, was a child. In the 2014-2015 farming season, for example, the rains started later and receded earlier, leaving crops stressed and performing poorly. Like many of the smallholder farmers in her area, Elita practiced conventional farming techniques: ploughing, planting recycled seeds, burning crop residues after harvest, and weeding by hand. Enter the USAID-funded Feed the Future Production, Finance, and Improved Technology (PROFIT+) project, which is working to increase agricultural productivity and facilitate private-sector investment in targeted value chains.

Elita attended a project farmer field school (FFS), where she learned conservation farming techniques such as minimum tillage, ripping, use of certified seed, crop rotation, and not burning crop residue. She learned that conservation farming is especially effective when there is little rainfall. She also learned how certified seeds can fight pests and diseases.

Decribing her experience with these new measures, Elita explained that in the 2014-15 farming season she ripped and planted certified seed on a four hectare (nearly 10 acre) field. In previous years, she would harvest twenty 50-kilogram bags of maize from the same field using recycled maize seed and four bags of urea fertilizer. Last season, however, armed with the knowledge gained from the FFS, she ripped in her field and did not burn the residues. She planted early with the first rains and applied the same four bags of urea. Elita reports that with these techniques to minimize soil disturbance, there was very little soil erosion. The crop residue also helped hold moisture for a longer period. “My neighbor’s field was drying up early after it had rained, while moisture in my field lingered,” she comments.

Elita harvested sixty-five 50-kilogram bags of maize, three times what she normally harvests from the same area. She attributes this feat to the new methods she learned at FFS: basin making, planting certified seed early, and not burning crop residues. In previous years she only earned $180 from maize sales. But in the 2014-15 season, her maize sales reached nearly $450, and she has been able to build a house from the profits. She is proud of her successes and her new house, a tangible benefit of climate-smart conservation farming techniques.

Photo: ACDI/VOCA

 

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