Development and Diplomacy Leading U.S. Climate Action
Friday, April 30th marks the Biden Administration’s first 100 days in office. While the Administration’s next 100 days are likely to be as critical as the first, here’s a look back at how America’s development and diplomacy tools have been deployed to address many of the complex global challenges affecting the world’s most vulnerable and with impacts to America’s security, prosperity, and safety.
Yesterday, the Biden Administration announced that it would share over 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines to countries around the world—with India included as a potential recipient, since the country is an experiencing a sharp uptick in the number of COVID-related cases and deaths since March. As the COVID-19 crisis continues to devastate the country, there are real concerns that India’s health care system could collapse, and the outbreak could spread to other countries and destabilize the region—prompting the United States and others in the international community to step up to help India respond to this terrible outbreak.
While death and infection rates have drastically declined since 2000, thanks in part to integrated efforts by government, business and civil society, malaria is remarkably resilient. The mosquito-borne illness has been eliminated in many countries – like the U.S. – yet for millions of people around the world, it continues to be a daily challenge. Experts like Dr. Vicki Weldon, ExxonMobil’s Global Medical Director, have been part of a broad and sustained effort to combat this illness.
At this week’s Leaders Summit on Climate hosted at the White House, President Joe Biden underscored the need for international cooperation on the climate crisis, stating “No nation can solve this crisis on our own…all of us — and particularly those of us who represent the world’s largest economies — we have to step up.” This consensus was similarly reflected throughout the two-day Summit, as leaders from more than 40 countries alongside U.S. cabinet officials, business leaders, representatives from multilateral organizations, and even Pope Francis, discussed the immense challenge climate change poses and the cooperation needed to confront it.
The COVID-19 pandemic is the world’s most immediate health crisis, but another crisis is quietly threatening long-term global health. Climate change has worsened in recent decades and, if left unchecked, farmers and consumers will bear the brunt of the consequences. Syngenta is one of many organizations working to change the global agricultural industry for the better. Through its ‘Good Growth Plan,’ Syngenta promotes global sustainability and biodiversity—two major areas of concern for one of world’s largest agronomic developers and agricultural researchers.
Innovative ideas and technologies are driving the future of global development, and nowhere is this more evident than at Development Innovation Ventures (DIV), a flagship program at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) that is leveraging innovation to meet today’s most pressing development challenges. A recent analysis of DIV’s grants found an incredible rate of return of $5 in social benefits for every dollar spent on innovations. Now, policymakers on both sides of the aisle—and practitioners alike—are focused on the role of innovation and technology in scaling development progress.
In 2020, the global economy took a major hit with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that is expected to reverse course, with the global economy projected to grow 6 percent by the end of 2021—growth that reflects additional fiscal support in several large economies and the anticipated vaccine-powered recovery. These projections were one of the main topics of discussion at the virtual Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank Group, where the institutions met to discuss their progress on the COVID-19 pandemic response and economic recovery—and the urgent needs that still must be addressed.
Wednesday, March 10th might have seemed like a typical day in the City of Dayton—but it actually marked our first-ever Global Engagement Day. Mayor Whaley issued this proclamation in celebration of our unique connection to the world and if you look at our city’s rich history, you’ll understand why.
In early March, the Biden administration released its Interim National Security Strategic Guidance—a framing document released ahead of the National Security Strategy (NSS) that serves as an early signal of U.S. foreign policy priorities in the Biden Administration. By using diplomacy and development to connect the administration’s domestic priorities to America’s foreign policy priorities, the president has clearly signaled the significant role these tools will play over the next four years.