Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report

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Statement by Administrator Samantha Power

For Immediate Release

Monday, February 28, 2022
Office of Press Relations
press@usaid.gov

Today, the global scientific community issued another stark warning for humanity. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that the climate crisis threatens every aspect of human life and demonstrates the urgent need to expand our ability to adapt.

The main finding of the report is clear: we are not adapting fast enough or at the scale required to withstand the effects of climate change. The climate crisis is already driving more frequent and intense disasters, accelerating food and water scarcity and global inequities, and causing widespread harm to people, ecosystems, economies and infrastructure. The science also shows that many of the impacts of climate change are now underway and unavoidable, reaffirming what climate experts have known for some time—adaptation is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Yet we know that developing countries—USAID’s partner countries who are often the most vulnerable to climate change—have the least capacity to adapt.

But there is much we can do. We can meet this crisis swiftly and smartly by investing in adaptation measures like making infrastructure more resilient, agriculture more climate-smart, water systems more secure, and communities more disaster-ready. The President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE), which President Biden launched at COP26 will do just that: empower over half a billion people most impacted by the climate crisis to adapt to climate change by 2030.

To advance PREPARE, USAID is working with governments and communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis to provide the tools they need to adapt and live in safety, continuing our long history of supporting partners to adapt to the perils of climate change. These efforts not only save lives—they save money. Every $1 we invest in climate preparedness and tested adaptation measures like early warning systems, more climate resilient infrastructure, or drought tolerant seeds yields up to $10 in savings down the road.

I applaud the IPCC’s recognition of the role that marginalized groups and local communities play as agents of change in addressing the climate crisis. USAID’s forthcoming climate strategy supports this effort by elevating marginalized yet powerful voices. Indigenous people, local communities, and women are on the frontlines of this crisis, yet they have contributed the least to causing it. We must do more to engage with them, direct benefits to them, and put them in the lead of climate resilience efforts. Only then will we truly strengthen their ability to adapt to the worst effects of our changing climate.

Last updated: September 20, 2022

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