U.S. climate and environment diplomacy aspires to realize economic growth, energy security, and a healthy planet. The well-being of the natural world affects millions of U.S. jobs and the health of our people, and so the Department of State works with partners to advance U.S. interests on issues such as combating wildlife trafficking, fostering resilience, conserving nature, water security, and reducing harmful pollutants. Our Climate Action Series gives journalists frontline access to contemporary experts and issues for this increasingly important topic.

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) is expected to be the most important meeting on climate change since the 2015 Paris Agreement.  Since rejoining the Agreement, the Biden-Harris Administration has pledged to reach net zero emissions by no later than 2050, and committed to working with global leaders to tackle the crisis.  As the effects of climate change intensify, the Administration has prioritized clean energy innovation as essential to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve climate resilience.

Amy Myers Jaffe, managing director at the Climate Policy Lab at Tufts University, is a leading expert on global energy policy and sustainability.  On the road to COP 26, she provides a scholarly perspective on the future of energy, how clean energy innovation is altering international dynamics, and how the United States can ensure economic competitiveness and national security through sustainable energy.  Jaffe is the author of Energy’s Digital Future.

The Climate Group, in partnership with the COP26 and the City of New York, hosts Climate Week NYC on the margins of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly.  Climate Week NYC is a series of events focused on fulfilling and increasing commitments made by businesses, governments, and organizations and providing a platform to showcase climate action.  The briefers offer a preview of the events planned for Climate Week, including The Nest Summit,  a two-day conference taking place under NYC’s largest green roof at the Javits Center.  The Nest Summit is dedicated to advancing sustainability in the United States and will offer panels, workshops and presentations from leading brands. Its 2021 tracks are: clean energy, climate risk and impact investing, changemakers, and climate arts.

Climate Mayors is a bipartisan network of more than 470 U.S. mayors demonstrating climate leadership through meaningful actions in their communities. Representing 48 states and 74 million Americans, the Climate Mayors coalition reflects U.S. cities’ commitment to climate progress. For more information, please see this page: https://climatemayors.org/ This briefing focuses on participation of the city of Seattle, Washington in the Climate Mayors program.  Mayor Durkan also discusses climate resilience in the city of Seattle, Washington.

Following the release of the United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report, hear from an official from the IPCC summarizing the findings of the report. Two senior U.S. officials also provide an update on the significance of the findings, what this means for U.S. climate policy, and U.S. objectives for global climate action ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), to be held this November in Glasgow, United Kingdom. The IPCC is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. The Sixth Assessment Report will be released on Monday, August 9. More information is available at: www.ipcc.ch/assessment-report/ar6/ .

In January 2021, U.S. National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy noted that “climate change is a racial justice issue” in a videotaped speech.  This briefing focuses on the topic of equity as it relates to the climate crisis and the environment.

Chief Service Officer for the State of California Josh Fryday briefs journalists on the California Climate Action Corps program, the first statewide corps of its kind focused on climate action.  This program is an excellent example of how state-level governments are working to address this vital issue and serves as a model for the new national Civilian Climate Corps recently announced by President Biden.

The Foreign Press Centers offer Virtual Reporting Tours (VRTs) to engage foreign journalists amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The pivot to a virtual format allows journalists from around the world to access major U.S. stories and sources. In May 2021, the FPCs hosted the second-ever VRT: “Combatting the Climate Crisis Through U.S. Innovation.” This program connected international media to U.S. stories on climate action, clearn energy and innovation. The purpose was to promote the Administration’s goal of prioritizing the fight against climate change through global efforts to reduce emissions.

U.S. Department of State

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