“The global climate challenge is about opportunity, security, even our very survival in the long term.”
- Secretary of State John Kerry
Climate change is one of our most urgent, complex, and far-reaching challenges. It also presents opportunities to strengthen U.S. and global security and promote economic growth.
Urgent Action Needed
Climate change poses multiple threats to U.S. and global security. It is likely to exacerbate economic and social inequality, and increase competition and conflict over agricultural, marine, and water resources. It can result in the massive displacement of people, including those whose livelihoods depend on these resources.
The case for climate action is rooted in sound science and economics. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has laid out clear and compelling scientific evidence of climate change and its link to human influence. Glaciers are melting, heat waves are more frequent and longer-lasting, and sea levels are rising more quickly than anticipated. Climate change also presents an opportunity to advance new technologies, grow our economies, and strengthen communities. Working together, we can rise to meet this global challenge and create cleaner, healthier communities.
Recognizing the threats and opportunities presented by climate change, President Obama announced a three-part Climate Action Plan in June 2013:
The Plan builds on President Obama’s 2010 Policy Directive on Global Development that elevated the Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI) as a Presidential development initiative. The GCCI integrates climate change considerations into U.S. foreign assistance and advances practical, on-the-ground solutions worldwide – helping developing countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve resiliency to climate change impacts.
Building off his decades of leadership on climate change, Secretary Kerry is making global climate change a top foreign policy priority, including focusing the Department's efforts to: