Statement by USAID Administrator Gayle Smith on the Paris Agreement on Climate Change

For Immediate Release

Friday, November 4, 2016

Today, as the Paris Agreement on climate change takes effect, we are reminded that clean water, healthy farms and forests, and dependable rains are the basic resources that all people require to rise out of poverty and hunger toward stability and prosperity.  The Agreement's rapid entry into force also reminds us that incredible global cooperation is possible when we focus on our shared humanity.

We are increasingly seeing and feeling the real effects of climate change around the world - worsening droughts, intensifying storms, melting glaciers, and dangerous flooding. These are disasters that USAID responds to every day.  That is why we are working so hard to promote climate resilience and to help countries pursue low-carbon development, powered by renewable energy and healthy forests and farms. Already we have helped more than five million people access and use better climate and weather data.  We've also supported our partner countries to install more than 50,000 megawatts of clean energy - enough to power the equivalent of more than 13 million American homes - further demonstrating that clean energy and development go hand-in-hand.

We adopted the Paris Agreement swiftly, not out of fear, but out of hope. A healthy planet so perfectly symbolizes the hopes we all share - hopes for a bountiful harvest, for safety from storms, and for a stable future so our children may thrive.