At today’s international climate summit in New York, President Obama has announced a sweeping range of domestic initiatives and international partnerships designed to counteract and reduce the effects of global climate change.
A fact sheet released by the White House details the tools and partnerships Obama will use in the lead-up to 2015’s Paris summit and beyond. Some highlights:
President Obama announces an Executive Order on Climate-Resilient International Development. This will require agencies to factor climate change considerations into the U.S. government’s international development work, such as projects, investments, overseas facilities and other funding decisions. The fact sheet mentions that U.S. financial support for adaptation activities in developing countries has increased eight-fold since 2009.
President Obama announces a new U.S. public-private partnership that will connect actionable climate science, data, tools and training to decision-makers in developing countries. To empower local authorities to better plan for severe environmental changes, the U.S. will provide data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The goal of this partnership is to create a global community that can utilize climate data and adaption efforts to target the needs of climate-vulnerable countries.
The U.S. will join the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture. As a founding member of the Alliance, the U.S. will play a key role in uniting governments, businesses, farmers’ organizations, civil society groups, research bodies and intergovernmental entities “to address food security in the face of climate change.”
The U.S. has overseen the signing of the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge. CEOs of Cargill, Asian Agri, Golden Agri-Resources, Wilmar and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry have all signed a best practices pledge to reduce the exploitation of natives and the deforestation of Indonesian forests that results from unscrupulous palm oil plantations.
The U.S. Federal Transit Authority has pledged $3.3. billion for the creation of climate resilient transportation infrastructure projects in states impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
The U.S. as well as other governments and civil society partners have agreed to phase down consumption and production of HFCs. Hydrofluorocarbons are used as a cooling agent in many refrigeration products but are a potent greenhouse gas. This agreement will cut down on global warming.
The U.S. and 60 country, city, non-government and private sector partners will take action to reduce methane and black carbon from municipal solid waste. This resolution aims to create a global city network that will “catalyze action in 1,000 cities by 2020.”