A World on Fire: Orienting the U.S. Foreign Assistance Architecture to Build Climate Resilience

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This policy brief explores the current status of climate change adaptation within the U.​S.​ foreign assistance architecture, and offers actionable recommendations to reorient towards climate resilience.

We know that climate change is a destabilizer and a threat multiplier. It takes existing vulnerabilities and amplifies them, costing both dollars and lives. Nearly 3.​4 billion people across 78 countries are estimated to be highly vulnerable to climate change, but are not yet ready to act. There is a strong imperative for the U.​S.​ government to demonstrate leadership and ensure that our foreign assistance helps the most vulnerable adapt to the changing climate.

Fortunately, there are opportunities for action. Our recommendations include:

  • Introduce a new Global Climate Change Strategy
  • Strengthen climate mainstreaming and improve tracking of climate change adaptation expenditures and program outcomes
  • Re-appoint a Special Envoy for Climate Change
  • Prioritize both bilateral and multilateral funding for vulnerable communities
  • Improve multilateral policies to support climate-smart, risk-informed development

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