Global Climate Change

Addressing global climate change is a high priority for the U.S. Government. RDMA directly supports implementation of the President’s Global Climate Change Initiative and USAID’s Global Climate Change Strategy. Activities underway in the Asia region are designed to mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change, and to increase climate resilience and adaptation to the impacts of climate change.

Over the past several decades, Asia’s developing countries have experienced remarkable economic, industrial, and urban growth, and this rapid development is expected to continue. Asia’s increasing energy demand and fossil fuel consumption, industrial activity, deforestation, forest degradation, and land use change all make the region among the world’s highest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. It is estimated that carbon dioxide emissions from conventional energy use in Asia’s developing countries will increase from 33 percent of the world total in 2008 to 45 percent by 2030. The forest and land-use sector is expected to further contribute to these emission trends; up to 80 percent of emissions of some countries in the region are from forest and land use sources.

RDMA’s work on mitigation (i.e., reducing GHG emissions) is designed to help countries slow or curb carbon emissions while achieving clean and sustainable economic development through activities that promote low emission development strategies (LEDS), sustainable landscapes, and clean energy.

Climate Change Adaptation

RDMA supports regional capacity building programs to help communities and governments in reducing the negative aspects of climate change. Increasing climate variability, shifting seasonal norms, increasing frequency and intensity of extreme events, and sea level rise increase the risk of loss of life and property. RDMA’s programs focus on building resilient communities and capable government agencies, which understand the trends and vulnerabilities, and can develop effective adaptation strategies.

Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS)

LEDS are strategic planning, analytical, and policy processes that help countries shift the direction of their economies to increase economic performance and efficiency while achieving significant, long-term emission reductions. RDMA promotes LEDS at regional and bilateral levels and plays a leading role in supporting the Asia LEDS Partnership, which provides training, knowledge sharing, and cooperation for a network of more than 300 government and non-government experts to more effectively use LEDS tools and practices in development decision-making and financing. RDMA also supports the U.S. Government’s Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies (EC-LEDS) initiative, which includes seven countries in Asia, to provide training and technical assistance on low emission, climate resilient development planning and policies.

Sustainable Landscapes

Deforestation and forest degradation is estimated to contribute about 15% of global GHG emissions. The U.S. Government recognizes the important role of forests—in storing carbon, conserving biodiversity, supporting local livelihoods, and providing critical goods and services—and has committed over $1 billion to support global efforts to protect forests and reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). As part of this commitment, RDMA assists governments and universities in the Asia region to address land use-related emissions and support LEDS planning and sustainable forest management practices that will improve management of over 1 million hectares of forest and leverage an estimated $5 million in forest protection investments. RDMA also supports research on the impacts of regional trade and investment flows on forests, and efforts to strengthen civil society networks in the Lower Mekong region to more effectively engage in forestry-related policy decisions.

Clean Energy

Reducing Asia’s heavy and long-term dependence on fossil fuel-based energy sources is a high priority among global efforts to address climate change. RDMA’s work in clean energy aims to accelerate investment in clean energy technologies and promote regional collaboration to improve clean energy policy decision-making and innovation. To date, RDMA has helped to mobilized more than $275 million in clean energy investments in the region through the Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN), a public-private partnership.