Climate and Environment
Policy Issues

Climate and Environment

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 addressing the climate crisis, combating wildlife trafficking, fostering resilience, conserving nature, water security, and reducing harmful pollutants.

Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate (SPEC): The Special Presidential Envoy for Climate is charged with leading U.S. diplomacy  to address the climate crisis.  Integrated closely with the State Department’s existing expert staff and personnel, including the Office of Global Change (EGC) in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), the Special Presidential Envoy’s team works to ensure that the United States actively engages on climate, including exercising strong U.S. leadership to increase global climate ambition.  Key workstreams and focus areas for the Special Presidential Envoy’s team include: constructive engagement in the Paris Agreement and related agreements and processes; driving global greenhouse gas emission reductions so as to keep a 1.5 degree Celsius limit on temperature rise within reach; enhancing adaptation and resilience to climate impacts; climate-aligning financial flows; driving overseas clean energy innovation and competitiveness; and better integrating climate and other areas, including the ocean, biodiversity, the Arctic, and international shipping and aviation activities. For more information, please visit the Department’s climate crisis webpage.  

Office of Conservation and Water (ECW): ECW coordinates U.S. foreign policy  to conserve and sustainably use the world’s ecologically and economically important ecosystems, including forests, wetlands, drylands and coral reefs, the species that depend on them, and the world’s water resources. Read more about ECW

Office of Environmental Quality (ENV): ENV is staffed by experienced scientists, lawyers, and diplomats who develop and implement U.S. foreign policy to protect air, food, soil, and biota from pollution, and promote a healthy environment by working with trade partners and multilateral institutions around the globe. Read more about ENV

Office of Global Change (EGC): The Office of Global Change leads on U.S. international climate change policy and represents the United States in climate negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and in other international fora, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization. Read more about EGC

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future