Climate change

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Report on The State Department Climate Action: Introduction and Overview International Activities No single country can resolve the problem of global climate change. Recognizing this, the United States is engaged in many activities to facilitate closer international cooperation. To this end, the U.S. government has actively participated in international research and assessment efforts (e.g., through the IPCC), in efforts to develop and implement a global climate change strategy (through the FCCC Conference of the Parties and its varied subsidiary bodies and through the Climate Technology Initiative), and by providing financial and technical assistance to developing countries to facilitate development of mitigation and sequestration strategies (e.g., through the Global

Environment Facility (GEF)). Bilateral and multilateral opportunities are currently being implemented, with some designed to capitalize on the technological capabilities of the private sector, and others to work on a government-to-government basis. In the existing Convention framework, the United States has seconded technical experts to the FCCC secretariat to help implement methodological, technical, and technological activities. U.S. experts review national communications of other Parties and are helping to advance the development of methodologies for inventorying national emissions. The United States has been active in promoting next steps under the Convention. It has encouraged all countries to take appropriate analyses of their own circumstances before taking action--and

then act on these analyses. It has suggested--and, where possible, has demonstrated--flexible and robust institutional systems through which actions can be taken, such as programs to implement emission-reduction activities jointly between Parties, and emission-trading programs. The United States has also sought to use its best diplomatic efforts to prod those in the international community reluctant to act, seeking to provide assurances that the issue is critical and warrants global attention. Through these efforts, the ongoing negotiations are expected to successfully conclude in late 1997. The successful implementation of the Convention and a new legal instrument will ensure that the potential hazards of climate change will never be realized. As a major donor to the GEF, the

United States has contributed approximately $190 million to help developing countries meet the incremental costs of protecting the global environment. Although the United States is behind in the voluntary payment schedule agreed upon during the GEF replenishment adopted in 1994, plans have been made to pay off these arrears. The principles of the U.S. development assistance strategy lie at the heart of U.S. bilateral mitigation projects. These principles include the concepts of conservation and cultural respect, as well as empowerment of local citizenry. The U.S. government works primarily through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In fact, mitigation of global climate change is one of USAID's two global environmental priorities. Other agencies working in the

climate change field, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Departments of Agriculture and Energy, are also active internationally. Projects fit into various general categories, such as increasing the efficiency of power operation and use, adopting renewable-energy technologies, reducing air pollution, improving agricultural and livestock practices, and decreasing deforestation and improving land use. Perhaps none of the U.S. programs is as well known as the U.S. Country Studies Program. The program is currently assisting fifty-five developing countries and countries with economies in transition to market economies with climate change studies intended to build human and institutional capacity to address climate