At the United Nations Climate Summit in September, President Obama announced a set of new initiatives aimed at strengthening global resilience to climate change, including a Public-Private Partnership on Climate Data and Information for Resilient Development. This partnership’s mission, which is being primarily supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) but with significant contributions from NOAA, NASA, USGS and other U.S. government agencies, is to increase resilience to the impacts of climate change and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in developing countries by harnessing, creating, and providing timely climate data, information, tools, and services. The partnership will draw on the strengths and resources of public, private, and non-governmental organizations, as well as academic communities from around the world.
To follow on this Presidential announcement, USAID has just released a Request for Information that solicits input from any interested parties on how best to achieve these goals. If you or your organization is interested in providing input or possibly participating in the public-private partnership itself, please respond to this newly-released Request for Information. Submissions from both U.S.-based and international organizations and experts are encouraged.
This new public-private partnership intends to make existing climate data, scientific information, outlooks, tools, and services more actionable and publicly accessible; identify and address targeted climate information and capacity gaps; create a global community of practice that links climate data, climate change adaptation efforts, mitigation, and international development; conduct joint research on how to address specific needs in developing countries, develop new products to support decision-making in climate-vulnerable countries, and advance the aims of the Global Framework for Climate Services.
The partnership announced by the President in September recognizes that no single entity can, on its own, meet the developing nations’ vast needs for improved climate information as these countries consider how to pursue climate-smart development. The diverse experience, unique capabilities, and resources of a broad set of actors, including host-country governments, local organizations, private firms, social entrepreneurs, academic experts, intergovernmental organizations, philanthropic bodies, and NGOs must be harnessed in order to get the job done effectively -- together.
Critical to this effort will be addressing not only the supply side of this challenge – development of improved data, tools, and services – but also the demand-side: understanding needs on the ground and the steps necessary to connect users with tools and information in ways that make sense.
We cannot do this without you, and we look forward to your feedback.
Kit Batten is the Global Climate Change Coordinator for USAID and Kelly Sims Gallagher is Senior Policy Advisor for OSTP