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tv   Experts Testify on U.S. Global Climate Strategy  CSPAN  October 26, 2021 4:48am-6:33am EDT

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>> good morning. thank you to our witnesses.
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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] please keep your video functional on it all times. members are responsible for muting and unyielding themselves. -- on muting themselves. members will be muted when they're not under recognition to eliminate background noise. i will recognize myself for opening remarks. thank you for joining today's hearing on the role we can play combating climate change. this november, world leaders will converge on scotland for climate action. the stakes could not be higher. the panel on climate change
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reports we need to be more ambitious to reduce emissions. when president biden goes to convince partners and adversaries to step up, he will need a clear vision for what the u.s. in the world must do. first, i hope we can reach an agreement on the build back better back before the end of the month so he can negotiate from a position of strength and a strong set of commitments for climate action by the u.s. at home. the witnesses today will be able to speak to the other part of the agenda, what we will be doing globally through development programs to help the world reduce carbon emissions and build resilience against a changing climate. during this hearing, i hope we will discuss the goals of our programs and what we are looking to achieve. i would like to hear about usaid and other agencies are balancing
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their work between climate mitigation, reducing carbon emissions, and resilience or adaptation. i strongly believe that combating climate change is critical for effective development outcomes. if we fail to take the filament into account, the roads we build will be washed away in the next hurricane season. not taking climate into account leads to less sustainable results. in short, international development is climate policy. i look forward to your testimony today. i hope the witnesses will speak about how their organizations to climate-related work and how a changing climate will affect development outcomes. i call this hearing to get a better sense of what the administration's policy will be on the financing of fossil fuel projects abroad, and where they see trade-offs, if at all, between climate goals and outcomes. i am encouraged by the decision to limit new fossil fuel
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projects, but we need when, where, and under what circumstances this will occur. usaid and other agencies have powerful tools to address climate change. the witnesses would speak to how their agencies can contribute towards the goals. without, i will now turn it over to the ranking member for her opening remarks within recognize the chairman and one ranking member for their opening remarks. >> thank you. thank you for holding today's hearing. my constituents have been devastated by hurricane sandy and ida. they have seen the intensity and frequency of storms and know the impact of climate change is real. the u.s. has been at the forefront of the fight to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions,
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while promoting energy efficiency. our progress is clear. since 2011, the share of renewable electricity has doubled from 5% of total production to over 12%. since 2005, emissions of fallen by 37%, result of increased investment in renewable energy and americans making eco-friendly choices. while we continue to make progress, the world's most destructive polluter stands out as the people's republic of china, a nation responsible from was 30% of global emissions. president biden's key international climate decisions to date have only emboldened chinese emissions. -- developing nation status,
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explicitly assented to china's unchecked and deadly pollution of our atmosphere. what is worse is that to rejoin the paris agreement without securing any real commitments from the chinese communist party to ensure that their actions will change. now, in an attempt to clean up china's mess, the administration is tying the hands of american businesses, ignoring even our best efforts will not offset the climate damage caused by countries like china and russia. a prime example is president biden's decision to shut down the keystone xl pipeline, a gas pipeline system that would have allowed us to benefit from access to high quality canadian oil. americans are now paying at the gas pump for the decision, with prices pushing five dollars a gallon in california. the biden administration greenlighted russia's pipeline,
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a decision that flies in the face of the president's rationale for shutting down the keystone xl, but one that will make our allies in europe more reliant on russian energy. we are seeing that now. i can go on with the inconsistency in bidens policy as evidence for all of us. mr. chairman, we witnessed china imposing their worthless environmental standards, building ports, co-fired power plants, and other critical infrastructure projects with little to no environment or oversight in developing nations around the world. meanwhile, the biden administration set unrealistic goals for our development in the pursuit of climate-related targets. this administration must consider the reality that countries with access are not a knitters, and russian china are.
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we must increase access to all available energy sources, reduce energy poverty and spur growth in the u.s. and around the world. wind and solar are important, but cannot be the only options. as the administration looks to the conference next month, congress must conduct rigorous oversight of any commitments made by the president to other nations. if the administration will engage in a global framework on climate, it needs to hold countries like china accountable for polluting to the extent that my constituents must prepare for rising sea waters. mr. chairman, while we work to achieve a sustainable future, we need to weigh the impacts of going off and on alternative energy, especially why adversaries sit by and watch. i want to thank her witnesses and i look forward to your testimony. ideal back. >> thank you. now recognize the chairman who
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heads a subcommittee on europe, energy, the environment, and cyber. >> thank you. from october 31 to november 12, the united nations will host the 26th annual climate change conference in glasgow, scotland. this event brings together world leaders to accelerate action towards the goals of the paris agreement and united nations framework convention on climate change. the summit will identify ways governments, businesses and civil society can work together to transform the ways we need to tackle the climate crisis. i am hopeful the summit will address one app that that climate crisis in particular. climate developing programs and financial assistance. climate change is tied to poverty and economic growth, and we must invest now, as well as support new technologies in the
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green industry sector. as we rise to meet the existential threat of climate change, we must be bold and leverage innovative solutions. the anticipation of the summit and the fight against climate change inspired chair castro, fitzpatrick, and others organize the hearing, where we look to seek a better understanding of the current state of u.s. operations and foreign assistance and foreign assistance in programming with respect to mitigating the source and adapt to climate change. before i continue, i offer my thanks to you, your staff, for organizing this hearing. i commend your efforts to highlight these critically important issues and look forward to continuing our work together during this congress. let me turn to the topic we are here to discuss. i am excited to hear from our expert witnesses about their
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strategies to advance the biden administration objectives to lessen the effects of global climate, true international development. this is a unique opportunity to hear from our leading development organizations on their international strategies on combating climate change before president biden and other world leaders meet to coordinate global action on climate. since president biden announced his climate strategy this year, usaid, the millennium challenge corporation, and the international element of finance corporation have been working tirelessly to develop plans to guide efforts to target climate change resources strategically, to ramp up climate change mitigation and adaption efforts and further integrate climate change considerations into international development programs across all sectors. i continue to be encouraged and supportive of the commitment to tackle the climate crisis
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utilizing all resources available. now is the time to backup our commitment to the implementation of development and assistance programs that will have a lasting and meaningful impact on the safety and well-being of our global communities. our international climate development work should work on mitigating the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events, provide humanitarian and disaster assistance, and build climate receipt communities around the world in a fair and equitable manner. i look forward to hearing from her witnesses today to discuss those principles in other crucial components to include how the u.s. and our transatlantic allies plan to coordinate climate goals and development work, combating climate change that should be complement tree, how the u.s. plans to protect the sustainability and future of
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climate finance, and finally, have the u.s. plans to prioritize the localization of climate-specific programming in order to ensure a just a transition. clearly defining it will foster deeper engagement with partner countries and strengthen implantation, planning, and ensure the strategies closely align with the new nestlé determine contributions and national adaptation plans. international climate development is another way we can further deepen our ties to transatlantic partners in particular, and i welcome the opportunity to do so today. without, i welcome an honest assessment of where we need to go in our pursuit of global climate developing strategies with our expert witnesses. i think you and i look forward to the discussion that we will have today. with that, ideal back. >> thank you.
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her final statement is from ranking member fitzpatrick. >> good morning. thank you. thank to our panel of witnesses for being here to discuss the upcoming climate change conference and how the u.s. can collaborate with international partners on shared climate objectives. wildfires, storms, floods and other extreme weather events continue to intensify around the globe. his first meeting in 19 any five, the parties have worked towards finding solutions to global climate change, and i'm grateful to have leaders from our nations here to discuss the role in our agenda at a time when we are facing unprecedented threats from a changing environment. while the world looks to move forward with climate-oriented agendas, the u.s. and our allies
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must be mindful of those countries, like china, not doing their share when it comes to climate. despite being a leading global emitter, the prc has been allowed to make meager commitments to curb their omissions, while undue burdens are placed on american taxpayers to make up for the failures. the reality of the ccp's genuine action on climate needs to be factored in until we how we approach our climate crisis. if they do not step up their commitments, the actions we take in the money we spend could be offset by their expedition larger emissions output, and meanwhile, we continue to pour money into those, increasing it as a strategic competitor. another aspect of u.s. climate policy is to consider the impact of prohibitive finch marks for
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developing nations. in countries where energy access is limited and the do not have the same resources as western countries to rapidly transition to renewable or clean energy sources, it is unfair to oppose that transition was access to energy sources should be the priority. united states and the allies in the united nations have benefited greatly to adopt policies that take the economy and the environment into consideration. however, developing nations may not have the same resources to endure the obstacles, adopting policies that meet aggressive carbon neutral goals. much of the world continues to depend, unfortunate, on fossil fuels for powering their economies. any transition will require patience.
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advancements in renewable energy technology are viable and it is important to not let strategic composition pit good intentions against national security. energy prices are up five times from year ago, despite it being one of the top reasons for renewable use in the world, so pursuing de-carbonization, which is a priority of our country and world, policymakers must balance goals to protect the people in the economies they are taking into consideration. it is my hope that witnesses will not lose sight of the stated goals in exchange for pursuing political goals. they will prove challenging, but the end result can be a more equitable future in standards.
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i think the panel for being here in my colleagues for hosting and i yield back. >> thank you, ranking member fitzpatrick. let's get into the discussion. i will introduce our witnesses. we have a climate change court nader at the u.s. agency for international development. usaid is the best development agency, and i look forward to hearing about the role it will play. we have the chief climate officer at the u.s. international development and finance corporation, our nation newest develop an agency, that has a lot of potential interest on the hill. i look forward how it will use its tools in this climate challenge. finally, we have the deputy vice president for infrastructure at
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the millennium challenge corporation. mcc has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to get results. i am eager to hear how these capabilities will be brought to bear on climate. just to a note for our witnesses and those asking questions, if you go to the grid view, please, for the witnesses, keep your opening remarks to five minutes. once we get into the question and answer session for our members, you can try as much as possible to keep your question and answers to those five minutes. i don't think it would be rude if you go to the long and i have to interject, but i want to make sure we have time for everybody, all right? first, i will ask usaid to testify. please. >> chairman and ranking members, distinguished members of the
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subcommittees, thank you for the opportunity to testify about u.s. efforts to combat the climate crisis. i am honored to be the new climate change coordinator for usaid, overseeing a broad range of environmental and conservation work. as an agency that stares down the world's toughest challenges, none poses a greater threat than climate change. the science is clear. we have a narrow window remaining to dramatically reduce global emissions, or we all face catastrophic consequences. the most vulnerable populations will get hit the hardest. even if the world bans together to cut emissions to net zero tomorrow, there are punishing storms and devastating floods, grueling droughts, extreme heat waves, and raging wildfires. failure to act globally will have serious consequences locally. climate change is not just an
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existential threat, it is a strategic opportunity for the u.s., expanding international markets for clean energy, creating good job opportunities at home. working with communities overseas to adapt to climate change can improve economic opportunities, addressing the core drivers of migration. president biden has made addressing the climate crisis a top priority, and so it is for usaid. world leaders will convene to update commitments made under the paris agreement in 2015. existing pledges fall well short of what is needed. u.s. leadership in driving more ambitious climate commitments is absolutely critical. equally as important, usaid partners with developing countries to make the climate commitments a reality on the ground through locally led development. over the past five years, we help to mobilize over $118 billion in private investment in
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renewable energy capacity across 20 countries, including major emerging countries like india and south africa. our conservation programs have a limited eight over 300 millio tons of carbon emissions in brazil, indonesia, and the congo basin. that is the equivalent of removing 70 million cars from the road for an entire year. even with these achievements, the climate crisis is showing instability, jeopardizing progress, and taxpayer dollars congress has invested in global development and security. climate change is set to push 100 million people into poverty this decade and to displace over one billion by 2050. what will these people do and where will they go as climate change washes their homes away and dries up their land and livelihoods? to reduce the risk of displacement, we partner with
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the vulnerable to adapt and reduce climate effects, working with farmers, governments, and everyone in between to make food, water, health, and infrastructure systems more resilient. as the lead federal agency for international disaster assistance, we also worked to improve disaster preparedness. through our partnership with nasa, we have helped more than 10 million people improve climate readiness with early warning systems and access to climate data and training. these investments save lives and money and make the u.s. more secure. every dollar we invest in climate adaptation and preparedness over the next decade will yield at least three times the return and that benefits. to confront the climate crisis, usaid is developing an ambitious strategy to guide our efforts through 2030. in the strategy, which we will be releasing for public comment, we are setting our most
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ambitious timeline and targets ever for reducing global emissions, increasing adaptation and mobilizing climate financing. we are also grounding our strategy and the principles of inclusion in locally-led development, and we are doing our part through a series of internal reforms to reduce emissions and improve the diversity of our workforce. thank you to both subcommittees in congress for your support of the claimant efforts. we are grateful for your ongoing partnership. i look forward to addressing your questions. >> thank you. and now the dfc. >> thank you. we appreciate the opportunity to testify the date and discuss the role of dfc advancing the
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presidents international climate finance agenda. in his speech last month to the un's general assembly, president biden recognize the urgency of the climate crisis and also reminded nations that making ambitious climate investments is a chance to invest in ourselves and our own future, to create good paying jobs for workers for long-term economic growth and foster healthier, more vibrant communities. dfc is well-positioned to use its private sector investment tools to advance this vision. the president has recognized our unique role and has called on us to do more. we are working with the development finance institutions and u.s. government agencies through the bill back better world initiative to increase the amount we invest in climate solutions. in line with that, we offer countries a positive vision and a sustainable, transparent alternative to coercive financing models, driven by
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authoritarian governments. it is important to underscore out climate efforts will continue to reflect a long-standing bipartisan focus on development. we aim to reach those that are poorest and most marginalized, and the needs of low income countries for energy, clean air and water, and economic growth are at the forefront of our agenda. doing all of this will require significant investments. according to the ifc, the financing gap amounts to roughly $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion per year, growing wider when you consider the costs of an action. it is projected to cause developing economies 1.5% to 2% of gdp per year. closing this gap will require significant private sector mobilization, but markets recognize addressing this challenge also represents a tremendous opportunity for growth. we are looking at a $23 trillion
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global market in the clean energy transition by 2030, and dfc has a critical role playing playing we will draw from financial tools, including direct loans and project finance, insurance, equity and funds investments, and technical assistance funding. and to help close this gap, we pledge that climate-linked project spanning clean energy, agriculture and the food security, buildings, transportation, and nature-based solutions for carbon removal will account for at least 33% of new investments beginning in 2023, and by 2040, dfc's portfolio will be net 04 climate pollution, the most ambitious target among g7. by investing in climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience, dfc will support u.s. economic competitiveness. our competitors around the world seek to lead in these areas not
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because they recognize the dangers of climate change, but because they want to win the clean energy industries of the future, and they're not waiting for the u.s. to take the lead. they have mobilized to dominate energy markets, whether natural gas or other sources. while china is an egregious polluter, the prc ranks first in the production of solar, wind, electric vehicles, batteries for grid storage, and hydropower, because energy, clean energy is the driving economic force of the future. u.s. leadership in climate is critical to achieving major strategic initiatives. take india, a crucial partner in asia, seeking to add 100 75 gigawatts of solar capacity by 2022, and for 50 gigawatts by 2030. it is in our interest to support responsible value-driven companies to achieve these goals. with the private sector, we can
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provide an attractive financing option for developing countries, which dovetails with our domestic agenda to invest in american manufacturing, jobs, and clean energy businesses at home. articulating a vision for development that centers climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience will require substantial and sustained investment. that is why president biden announced that the u.s. would significantly ramp up our support for climate investment in developing economies, aiming for total public financing of $11.4 billion a year. this will require not just careful budgeting, but also sustained resort -- support from the congress, and things to bipartisan support, dfc has begun to dramatically scale its investments. we committed $6.7 billion to developing projects in 2021, representing the largest annual investment by dfc or its predecessor in 25 years, and we are poised to keep growing.
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thank you for taking the time to learn about our efforts and i look for the answer your questions. >> thank you for your testimony. now i will call on the mcc. >> thank you. distinguished members, thank you for the opportunity to testify on behalf of the millennium challenge corporation and our climate work. you have a copy of my written testimony. i would like to highlight some of the main points. the millennium challenge corporation is an innovative and independent u.s.-government develop an agency that partners with select countries to reduce poverty through economic growth. since 2004, millennium challenge corporation has invested $14 billion in more than 40 low, and lower to middle income countries across africa, asia, and latin america. one of our greatest strength is our rigorous approach to data, monitoring and evaluation, and country ownership. decisions on where we work, what
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sectors we focus on, are all driven by an evidenced-based approach responsive to needs and priorities. the evidence and our deep engagement with countries have pointed to the inextricable link between poverty, economic growth, and climate change. mcc partner countries are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, despite being the least responsible for it. for them, climate adaptation is not a luxury, it is a necessity. for mcc, investing claimant-smart developing is key to ensuring art investments are sustainable, and u.s. develop dollars can have lasting impact. without significant interventions, climate change combined with economic fallout from the covid-19 pandemic will reverse significant developing gains made over the last 20 years, exacerbate global poverty and inequality. the world bank estimates that every dollar invested in climate-related infrastructure creates roughly four dollars and economic benefits.
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in this context, investing in climate-smart development and sustainable infrastructure is critical to helping our partner countries enhance the resilience to future crises and to adapt to new climate realities. fortunately, mcc was an early mover integrating climate considerations into our programs. between 2015 and 2020, $1.7 billion or 40% of the agency's program funds wherein climate-related activities across a range of sectors. whether upgrading design standards for roads to boost resilience against increased frequency and intensity of storms, as we did in the philippines, considering the implications of sea level rise reports as we develop contact with tunisia, or supporting policy reforms as we are doing in other countries, mcc has a strong track record make investments to address climate change. in april this year, the impact
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climate change recognize, the mcc committed to strengthening work to help partner countries to address climate change. this included a commitment to invest in climate-smart development, sustainable infrastructure come in to support partner countries efforts to address their own climate priorities. we have estimated that over the next five years, our climate-related investments will increase at least 50% of our overall portfolio. to achieve this, mcc will work with partner countries to promote climate-smart development and sustainable infrastructure through our well-established model. mcc will ensure the long-term viability of investments by remaining evidence-based and data-driven, as well as learning and listening to country partners who are attuned to the risk posed by client change. country ownership is a central tenet of the model, and our work on climate is no exception. addressing climate change in our work and through her model is essential to ensuring our
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investments are sustainable and provide lasting results. a road can only spur economic growth and reduce poverty if it survives the storms that come its way, and an irrigation system can only increase crop production of water is available. understanding and preparing for future risks is essential to making sure that the economic benefits generated by mcc investments are sustained over time. thank you again for the opportunity to testify on our climate work and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much. i will now recognize members for five minutes each, and pursuant the house rules, all the time yielded is for purposes of questions for witnesses. because the virtual format, i will recognize members by seniority, alternating between the majority, the minority, and the two subcommittees. i can only call on you if you are present with video on. please turn your video function on the gallery viewed so you can see everyone else in the room. if you miss your turn, please
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let staff know and we will circle back to you. if you seek recognition, you must unmute your microphone and address the chair. given the time constraints, i will be strict with the limit for questions so that every member gets an opportunity to put dissipate. i will start by recognizing myself for a question. each of your agencies has a different role to play in our climate strategy and international development. i want to flesh that out. my first question is for the dfc . it is a development agency with a number of priorities. how do you see the role of the dfc is differentiated from usaid and mcc, and what role dz for loans, loan guarantees, and equity investment with partners? >> thank you you for the
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question. i think among a few key differentiators, it is important to note the dfc works with the private sector and we seek to scale commercially viable investments. one of the areas where we are continually exploring our ability to provide finance is in climate, where we may seek to pursue more concessional loans. our predecessor agency had a statutory mandate to return moneys to the treasury. we have a mandate to achieve an appropriate financial performance, so we are in the process now of evaluating what appropriateness looks like in the context of climate, but i would say our agencies, they are
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complementary, so where usaid as missions and vocal presence on the ground and is able to provide a real focus on grant financing and pipeline development, dfc is able to come in later and provide scale in terms of debt financing, equity financing, and bring these projects to commercial viability. the other thing i would know is some of our tools are really innovative in this market, as compared with the others, so we can provide long-term financing options where we can offer up to 10, 15, 20 years, and that is unique in the market. we are able to provide financing in local currency, a new authority we are exploring, but keep being able to do projects and risky markets. >> very good. thank you for that. the mcc's work is heavily dependent on the priorities of the u.s. in partner countries,
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and this is a strength of the model that allows partner countries identify their own priorities. there is a perception we are pushing this on partner countries. i want to get a sense of how true that is. what are you hearing from our partners on what they need from us on climate-related assistance? >> thank you, mr. chairman, for your question. i want to underscore that we will continue to follow our model. this is a central tenet of mcc. we believe our model is well-suited to incorporate climate change into our investments, and have demonstrated that with our track record. as we look forward and when we look at our programs going forward, you know, the countries and their interest in meeting own climate goals and
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contributions ties in with our model and partnership as we work to develop our programs together. our new commitments built on our model. we are not replacing our model or stepping away from our model as we look to further our climate goals. what we are doing is systematically working with partners and their priorities to ensure that climate infrastructure is resilient, and taking a look at our analytical tools, another hallmark of mcc determining what we invest in to make sure it is consistent with best practices in climate science and economics. again, just reiterating, i feel these partnerships have served us well in the past and will serve as well as we move forward. >> all right, well, thank you. well, i'm going to ask a question just for the record because i only have 30 seconds left. what do you see are usaid's
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strengths, especially with other agencies in developing space, given the potential to absorb and deploy additional funds? what usaid's are usaid's budget needs to achieve the ambitious goals? i'm almost out of time here at i was a mythic question for the record. with that, i will call on the next ranking member. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you for your testimony. i guess i will start with usaid. i understand you are new to the entity. i'm not trying to blame you for the past, but we all need to learn from reports that come out, particularly from inspector generals that show taxpayer money is not being used wisely, wasted, or even fraudulent. i want to point to the recent report regarding afghanistan, which i have been going through,
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and i urge all my colleagues on this committee to also examine it. it has been shocking to see the hundreds of billions of dollars that have been wasted, much of it from the department of defense paying for ghost armies and stuff like that, but also with regards to u.s. a. usaid spent $335 million on a diesel-powered electric plant for kabul. it branded 2.2% capacity at maxim production, but with less than 1%. first of all, diesel is not efficient or environmentally friendly, but aside from that, it is the waste of this facility. what can we do as lawmakers and what can you do in your capacity at usaid, and what measures are using to make sure that waste is not occurring. there are a lot of numbers going around today, billions here, billions there. i think the taxpayer might not be so happy about that when they
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hear reports like this occurring, so i'd like to get some feedback from you and the others on what we can do to ensure that money is going where it should be going, and not being stolen or wasted. >> thank you so much for that question. corruption is not just another item on a long list of global problems. it is a systemic challenge in many places around the world, and it jeopardizes our ability to do our jobs, and that is the reason our administrator has made fighting corruption one of the very top priorities here at usaid. we are working side-by-side with a broad range of allies throughout the multilateral and interagency space. we supported the implementation of a range of partnerships,
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including the open government partnership and the industry transparency initiative. i can't speak to the specifics, the investment you cite in afghanistan, although i'm happy to revert to you on that. through 2030, we will place emphasis on monitoring and evaluation because dollars are scarce and we can afford to make investments that don't make sense. >> what kind of monitoring are you doing currently with these projects, what kind of metrics, reporting, checks and balances is usaid doing? >> we have a team that specializes in monitoring and evaluation, and we have rigorous qualitative and quantitative metrics for each and every project we undertake.
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we provide training, support, and guidance to the missions and are implementing partners in the field to ensure they are in a position to report on the work that is being done and our progress towards us metrics, and of course, that analysis informs how we go about the strategy. we need to know what is working in but is not, and where we have situations where we are underperforming. we need to address that with rigor. >> ok. anyone else want to comment on that? >> may be i will chime in mcc and reiterate we also have very close oversight functions, rigorous field visits, regular engagement. we were close with countries and partnership. we have strict procedures to control the use of funds and ensure they are used properly
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for the intended use, and similar to usaid, we have a team with rigorous monitoring and evaluation. i am happy to share more of that, if it would be of interest. >> thank you. >> we will get back to your concern regarding the afghan investment. >> i appreciate it. i would love to hear about it. thank you, chairman castro. >> thank you. we will now go to the next chairperson. >> thank you. i would like to tell the ranking member that i sponsored successfully in amendment and the defense authorization we just had that extends, expands the power of the inspector general on afghanistan reconstruction, so that is in the works. we have done that in the house. i would like to make her aware
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that that is being done. there is a common thread about today's testimony, today's hearing that i hear and could be reflected in some questions today, about the fact the u.s. should move forward aggressively on the climate change issues, because other countries are not moving ahead as much as we want them to and is much as we are. i think it is akin to having your house catch fire on one end of the street and another catch fire on the other end of the street, and you're not putting out the fire in your house and protecting her immediate neighbors, because you're not happy that the person at the end of the street is doing enough to protect their house. i just want to address that, because i think it is nonsensical. with that being said, however, there are issues that are intertwined in our response. we are having trouble in our
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economy now with supply chains and what is occurring with our supply chain vulnerabilities. this pours over into our area. a good example of this is 80% of the world solar panels are made in china, and a significant portion of those come from one region, and that includes 45% of the worlds poly filament, and that presents an enormous human rights issue, one president biden has taken steps to curtail with imports of solar technology from the region. the work presents climate concerns also because in the production of the solar panels, they are often powered by coal. there are opportunities that exist to diversify these large supply chains, including developing regions like africa,
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that we can be involved in. how have fewer agencies work to encourage this diversification of rare earth minerals, supply chains, and these areas where there is a near monopoly by china, and how can we balance the human rights and transition concerns and extraction and environmental impacts as well? if you could address that, i would be grateful. >> i will jump in. thank you so much for this critical question. i want to begin by underscoring the the removal of forced labor from our supply chains is a top priority for the biden/harris administration, and we are looking at this issue from every angle, and we are committed to eliminating forced labor from the supply chains, both imported into the u.s. and that we finance internationally. one immediate step we have taken is we are not allowing any
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direct government by nansen for solar panel manufacturers who have been sanctioned for their use of force labor or listed on the customs and border protection withhold release order limiting importation into the u.s. i also want to turn to this issue noted about supply chain diversification, because dfc is uniquely and well-positioned to work productively with our partners and allies around the world to invest in major opportunities for this type of diversification. in fact, we are looking at a couple of investments that given confidential business information i am not able to share publicly the names, but which are quite promising u.s. solar manufacturing facilities located in developing economies we work in. we are partnering with usaid on an initiative to drive this
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discussion and potential development in africa, as you indicate, which represents a real opportunity. outside the solar space, we recognize as we look at supplies for cobalt, nickel, lithium, all critical minerals to the clean energy supply chains required for clean cars and battery storage -- >> i apologize for interrupting, but one comment, maybe a follow-up in written form, is the fact that those countries that do share our values, particularly our transatlantic allies, i think we have to work harder to coordinate and balance our efforts and have a multiplier effect with their investments and hours. i apologize. my time is running out. i yield. >> absolutely looking forward to coordinating off-line. thank you.
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>> all right. thank you, chairman. we will go now to the next representative. >> thank you, chairman. i appreciate you being here. it is an important issue and we need to work with international partners to enhance our resilience, even though i don't come from a coastal region, i do have the great lakes, so we have a lot of issues related to that as well. i am concerned that we continue to offer a realistic and pragmatic approach, something that shows we will preserve open and free markets, as well as continuing to look at an avid patient -- at innovation that leads to prosperity in a more secure energy force as we prepare for the energy of the future, and also as we look to tackle climate change, i want to make sure we have a level playing field that represents
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u.s. interest. my first question, and i know this is limited, but briefly, can you walk me through the due diligence on the supply chains for these climate-related energy products, particularly related to the solar projects? i am concerned about what is happening in china and whether there will be clean supply chains in the so-called slave labor in that province will not be implicated in the projects you alluded to. can you detail how we will ensure that does not happen? >> thank you, congresswoman, for your question. i think i would start with underscoring some of the points jake made in terms of being aware of this issue, and we are working with other government agencies and the administration for a broader solution to it. we do have in our procurement
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and tendering documents provisions on the use of forced labor in supply chains, however, that is an important piece of actually looking at what is occurring and what is coming through in that. >> can i jump in? can you add the enforcement of that provision? can you enforce that? >> yes, in terms of enforcement, we have mechanisms for how we screen when firms do bid. they have to be screen. there is a rigorous evaluation process to evaluate the bids and how they stack up with respect to the requirements in the specifications and vetting documents. i will flag to things we're doing now, maybe three, actually. we have looked at our portfolio to identify where we are supporting solar panels and where this might be an issue. secondly, as we look at our procurement systems and processes, we have mechanisms in
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terms of the requirements. we follow up on those and we screen. thirdly, we are looking at how we specify in the types of equipment and materials that we need sources that we believe would not encounter this issue. >> let me ask you, would people engaging in slave labor-type activities in the supply chain, would they be cut off from receiving grants, the money? >> if those systems are in place and they were, frankly speaking, yes, we would not be procuring those kinds of panels. getting into the supply chains can be challenging and labor-intensive to dig through that, but this is why were looking for a broader solution and working with the administration in that regard. >> i look forward to hearing more on that.
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next question is for ms. caldwell. usaid under the climate plan, the executive order, it outlines ensuring a climate-ready workforce is top priority. what does this mean in practice, and what are the costs associated with achieving this on the priorities in the plan? if you could give me a quick answer, i would appreciate it. thank you. >> i am happy to respond more fully, but that is a big question. needless to say, our workforce spans 80 countries around the world. first and foremost, the concern is there safety and security, and as this relates back to the important work we do on climate adaptation and resilience, but the other factor here is the technical expertise we need right now, because we are short of funding, we don't have the environmental expertise we need
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at a mission level in order to design and implement the programs. the people do the environment or analysis, they sometimes require deeper training to be prepared to do their jobs well. announcer: training will be a major component of this? >> yes. we want to upscale our existing workforce, but we will need additional staff in order to do what needs to be done here. i am happy to respond more fully to that question, if you would like. >> my time has run out. it is up to the chairman. or we can exchange it in writing. >> i meant in writing. i will get back to you with more detail. >> i appreciate it. thank you. >> thank you. we will go next to the next person.
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ok. how about the congresswoman. all right. is the next person on? >> i am here. >> go ahead. >> perfect. i apologize. i wasn't expectin to be called early. i was reading an article, report on climate change and its threat to global security. my question has to do somewhat with that and the implications of migration patterns due to climate change and the impact that has on particularly women and girls. we know cross-border display minute migration has captured a
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lot of global attention in recent years, and climate change has emerged as one of the significant drivers of that, which has been sending a lot of people from vulnerable areas to viable areas and other countries to build new lives. what should we as policymakers do to respond to the urgent needs of those affected populations, particularly to address the disproportionate impact that is having on women and girls and honor national security? i would love >> i will jump in briefly to allow my colleagues to respond as well. as i said in the opening statement, in order to stave off what it could be waves of migration with an estimated one billion people facing homelessness as a result of the climate crisis over the next decade, we have to invest in climate preparedness and
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resilience at a local level. that will require additional support under the trump administration, usaid saw significant cuts in its adaptation and resilience. we need to restore that support. as you also know, climate change has very disproportionate impacts. on women. women are five times as likely to be killed as a result of extreme weather events. because of the poverty they are in and the vulnerability they face, there on the front lines around the world. if we want to stave off the migration, we have to enable these communities to continue to live and dramatically change in local circumstances and that requires investment. i will let my other colleagues respond as well. >> i am happy to chime in as well. we very much agree with my
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colleague in terms of the need for increased support for adaptation and resilience. similarly, there is a need to ensure there is economic growth and opportunity in that context. maybe just to give an example from one of our programs where it is getting hotter. it is already water scarce. we are working with them to help invest in irrigation infrastructure to help them adapt to that. it is more climate resilient. it improves the management of water natural resources to help them adapt to the changing climate realities. >> does anybody else have anything to add? >> i appreciate you and your insights. i will yield back. buck thank you you, representative. we will go next.
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>> thank you, chairman. i appreciate it very much. thank you to our ranking members for putting together this excellent panel. it is a very important and interesting conversation. just a short time ago, the u.s. was energy independent while achieving really, the largest decline in carbon emissions of any industrialized country on earth certainly, more than any other nation in the past had a lot of that was due to conversions to natural gas. we led the world in reducing emissions, cutting energy-related co2 emissions by 12%. from -- the rest of the world increase emissions by 24%. these trends absolutely need to continue.
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it is, by all means in our interests and in the interests of our existential interests. it is just in the interest of society and the next generation. i frankly am very pleased to have the private sector's embrace this from small and large businesses. and finding an roi along the way. which is good. so, it really wasn't due to mandates or by signing pledges. the real problem countries are not upholding. we are doing it through energy innovation and natural gas. from my home state of pennsylvania as a matter of fact is a big contributor to our low rate in carbon emissions. sony go to africa, they have a wealth of natural gas.
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not too long ago, the obama administration touted their natural gas as a key to providing a power to 600 million population of africa. president obama's energy's secretary advocated for natural gas to be the centerpiece of the energy development and supported in all of the above approach as a lead negotiator of the paris agreement. it is somewhat incredulous that the button administration would foreclose on the opportunity to export the energy success and technology to africa and build up a domestic energy sector on the continent, caught transitional. create thousands of jobs in poverty-stricken countries and develop a natural gas base fertilized to boost african agriculture. i will ask you. does usa believe that fuels like
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natural gas should play a role in its development initiatives in places like africa where the full impact would be significant for the economy, agriculture, as well as perhaps health care? >> thank you so much, congressman for that question. i think the first thing i would point out is that any 5% of our funding is designed to support renewable energy by a earmark -- and earmark. we are following that and making substantial investments in renewable energy. in addition, it is worth noting that in two thirds of the country, where we work, new clean energy generation is cleaner than fossil fuel generation and of course, we have an interest in ensuring that our development dollars are going as far as they can.
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in many cases, were helping our local country develop competitive auctions to ensure renewable energy at the most efficient rates. those options are auctions where the united states has an opportunity to complete. as mr. levine spoke about it, china is out investing us. -- site, i just want to get a question into mr. levine. d plan to stop financing natural gas projects in developing nations? >> no. >> ok. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you. i will go to ms. steinberg next. just to let everybody know, i got ago to intelligence
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committee meeting and i will turn over to the next chairman. >> thank you, the -- mr. chairman priebus wanted to -- i want -- mr. chairman. i share the subcommittee for conservation force repaired i been focused in bringing farmers and producers to the table and expanding efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change via agriculture. land-use practices can sequester it making it the most effective carbon's -- carbon reduction method available. these solutions could account for as much as 30% of the total greenhouse gas reduction needed to meet the two degrees warming goal set out by the paris climate accords. implement thing and rewarding these practices in agriculture can bolster resilience and have profits in the united states but
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they should also be a part of the mitigation and international development strategy plan that we have in communities around the globe. ms. caldwell, my first question is for you. how is working with these departments to test and scale climate practices that can benefit farmers and producers and the communities where they are impacted by climate change around the world? >> thank you so much for that question. we could not agree with you more on the importance of these solutions. we have focus on area that is not focusing and managing. just by way of example, we
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launched the gorilla coffee alliance with several companies and will invest the combined 14 million over five years to support sustainable agriculture. we have a cocoa for climate initiative that is important to avoid deforestation in the cocoa industry. i will have to get back to you on usta specifically. certainly, with the fao, we got another partnership. we collaborate with the state department as well as unilever and google and nasa to incentivize private investment for natural climate solutions and transparent data to help decision-makers decide where and how to invest. so, with apologies that i don't have the specifics on usta, i will note that for the record and make sure to get back tipi i
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am aware that we work very extensively with the u.s. forced service which is a part of usta and a number of our funds are redeployed directly through the usta when it comes to forest management overseas. >> thank you very much. as a follow-up, i would love to get any details that you all might have about some of the anticipated benefits as well as many getting climate change but also the impact on the ground for the local producers and sustainable practices mean for them. focusing on the positive side in the agriculture space but we also know that analysis indicates that climate change has dire consequences for many farmers and producers and those who rely on agriculture for their way of life. in some cases, we have seen the significant depletion and lack of profitability of intergenerational farms. small and large and sometimes, those slots of livelihood are
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given to many to migrate. i would ask about latin america but i welcome you and the limited time we have to expand beyond that. i much in your work have you seen one of the root causes of migration is climate change related or the impact of climate change on livelihood? >> we are absolutely seeing that. when it comes to the northern triangle, that is a perfect example. i was reading a report on climate players and i believe the report being published by the administration in which we collaborate and connect to the question of climate change. they're working to address climate and non-climate drivers and vulnerable contexts and to support my grants and displaced
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people. that takes various forms. focusing on food security is critical as is water security making sure people have the advanced notifications they need to prepare for extreme weather events or other impacts from local agriculture and lifestyles and mentioned earlier our collaboration with nasa on this innovative surveyor program. it helps provide early warning systems for natural hazards. as for the new climate migration report i mentioned, that is really worth looking at. it is basically a very close analysis of the climate crisis migration and develop meant. it provides recommendations to help guide u.s. policy in that area. we coordinated the drafting of that. for how those findings should
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address assistance. our opportunities to work with governments in -- entry needs to predict and prepare for the kinds of the -- disasters that drive migration. as you are fully aware, based on your question, there is a very direct relationship between climate change and migration. it is in our interest as well and local candies to make sure they have the capability to withstand those shocks and stay in place and survive and thrive. >> thank you very much. thank you for letting us go over. i yield that. >> thank you. the chair recognizes esther kim from new jersey for five minutes. >> thank you. ms. caldwell, i want to start with you. i wanted to ask you what does he but administration major of success for this?
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>> thank you so much for that question. first and foremost as i alluded to in my opening statement, the primary goal is to increase global ambition and action on climate change because the existing commission under these are insufficient to keep global warming to a 1.5 degree or less. special on carey and his team at state have been very actively involved of course in those global negotiations. i think they have achieved some early but still, too modest bits in terms of urging china and its ambitions. there have been recent and -- discussions with indonesia and as we head in, i think part of the reason that president biden made the commitment that he did to increase climate finance to 11.4 william per year in 2024 is
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that the u.s. has fallen far behind. in providing climate finance necessary to enable the many countries around the world. >> what will you do -- but would you like to see come out of there? what can help with this? >> we share the administration's goal of making sure we get increased commitment on nationally determined contribution. that is the sort of holy grail of this meeting. very importantly, we want to continue to forge the relationships that we have and expand on the ground to ensure those commitments become a reality. we all to often have commitments that sound good but don't come to fruition. that is where our on the ground
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presence can be so critically important in supporting these countries to deliver. >> i'm thinking about that in conjunction with what is in your testimony. you talked about this strategy that will guide your activity through 30. sitting on two strategic objectives. the first one is addressing the immediate man's testaments in the here and now addressing climate impact today and fast-growing economy based emissions. what are those most vulnerable communities. if you want to give me a sense of how your cackling that? how you determining your art is asian here? >> -- how are you determining your ties asian -- prioritization. >> enter your question, we are partnering with indigenous people -- people, women and
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children, and overall, parity and its pull on ensuring equity and inclusion. there are many underrepresented groups when it comes to development and we are taking a careful look to see how we can reallocate resources to ensure that the most most -- marginalized groups get the agency and opportunity to articulate themselves. -- as you are saying, it is about supporting the most vulnerable communities how are you cackling that? you developing a list off of metrics? trying to get a sense of how you are going to understand what the benchmarks are for achieving that strategic achievement. >> i will check back with the agency to see precisely how those measures are defined. i don't know -- >> it is a new strategy here.
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i guess my question is usaid not doing this before? these objectives being pretty straightforward to me about trying to prioritize those that are most vulnerable is this actually new? >> what is new is that our last strategy helped a targeted look at specific actions in places where we needed to intervene where our new strategy is a whole of agency response calling on each and every bureau to figure out how limit change can be mainstreamed into the programming and design. partners in the bureau of investigation for example are looking for the opportunity to upscale youth in green jobs and training they have an earmark that requires them to be focused on education, of course but there are creative ways to ensure that climate is essential to the work we are doing across the board heard >> look forward
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to the follow-up. >> the chair recognizes ms. wilde for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. i like to direct my question to ms. caldwell. it has to do with the amazon rain forest which of course, is often referred to as the lungs of the earth. because of its crucial role in sustaining human life and about diversity across the globe. we know that under the bolsonaro government, deforestation has risen to record highs as they have rolled back environmental protections in -- and embolden those in legal lodging and mining and has attacked the rights of indigenous communities. that is as big as a concern for me as the ecological considerations. previously, president biden and the administration had signaled their interest in trying to
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negotiate an agreement with the brazilian government aimed at reducing deforestation. i had the opportunity to ask the secretary about this at a past hearing. specifically, about the role of the indigenous community or the lack there of in these negotiations. can you provide any updates regarding the status of the negotiations and any efforts to include indigenous communities in having a potential agreement? >> out have to refer you to the state department on those negotiations i was in a meeting with senator kerry. he wanted to ensure that indigenous peoples are key to shaping the solutions to the problem that we confront. indigenous peoples stuart almost 25% of our opportunity for carbon sinks global or
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critically important and that is why it is a focus on our strategy. when it comes to brazil, we share your concerns with respect to what is happening there. the protected area where usaid is working from a 50% reduction in deforestation in 2020 which is a contract to the overall trends of the country. that demonstrates the opportunity to work at the subnational level even in complicated national environments to achieve change. we have a strong relationship with the chico mendez institute for about diversity which manages protected areas throughout the country and national indigenous foundation which manages brazil's indigenous territories. we find that even in difficulty -- difficult geopolitical environments, long-standing relationships we have on the ground, we will celebrate our
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60th birthday soon. in fact, on november 3. we are able to sustain progress. which is quickly important. >> i appreciate that. i hope you will take back the sense of this committee that it is very important to include those indigenous communities in all negotiations and they must have a seat at the table. in the interest of time, i want to go to my second question which is also to you, ms. caldwell. in april, the president committed to doubling financial support for helping developing nations tackle the global climate crisis. when it comes to the green climate funds specifically, what level of commitment do we expect from allies and partners around the world? how specifically has the administration worked to encourage others to make strong pledges? >> that question i will need to get back to you and consultation with our allies at state.
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i don't know how they have made those commitments. we are looking through our state and usaid investments combined in the neighborhood of one billion. i need to revert to you on the specifics of what you said. >> secondly, on technology transfer, the of any updates on the strategy to foster international cooperation regarding innovation and technology to address the climate crisis? especially on advanced de-carb and carbon capture and zero emission vehicles. you have any updates on that? >> we tend to not see that our dollars are not well spent in investing in more advanced and in sometimes, more speculative technologies. the level of investment required and already committed when it comes to carbon capture and such have been so substantial that our budgets will not allow for
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it and we focus on really creating the enabling environments for technologies that are ready to scale. solar being a perfect example eared although, we don't ourselves procure solar panels in any instances as far as i am aware. i don't think you will see us investing heavily in emerging technologies. historically or presumably, moving forward. it depends very much on what congress is prepared to allocate when it comes to our budget next year. we took a big hit. we are still working with obama era level funding. of course, this crisis has substantially increased in speed and severity since then. >> thank you. my time is up. i yelled back. >> we recognize the promise person from nevada for five
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minutes. >> i will direct this question. you mention in your testimony about the millennium challenge corporation in mongolia. what they are doing their. we know that climate change brings about demographic changes. what is happening in mongolia is forcing so many people around the country to move to the capital. we can imagine that certain climate and drastic climate advance will force that kind of movement in other places. i wonder if you can talk a little bit about how the mongolian water supply is dealing with all this movement of people into a concentrated urban area? >> thank you for your question. this is an important point and something that as we develop our
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program in mongolia with our partners, that is indeed one of the stresses being placed on the water supply i think there's evans and my written testimony to the efforts that we are taking with our mongolian partners and looking at policy reforms but the program includes a significant component which is investing in actually, drinking water for the capital city. drawing from groundwater in a sustainable way and actually protecting the upstream watershed. this is part of an overall plan. as a look into the future and increase in pressures that will be placed on the water supply, given the population there. this is a central piece of our program. >> i know the denver institute research is working with you on cloud seeding, particularly of
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snow in the mountains all that sort of thing. could you set up a program that can be transferred to other places that experiences this kind of migration or is this a one-off or mongolia? >> i would say broadly speaking, we try to learn from everything we do and try to apply those lessons to other programs and that is something we have done throughout our history that is one of the advantages of having such a rigorous component. it helps us. i try to look at the data and apply it elsewhere. in terms of the situation in mongolia, out have to get back to you on details. however early on in the program. if you're interested in specifics, we would be glad to follow in writing. >> that is something we can anticipate happening in other places. it be good to have a plan. i will talk to dri folks.
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my second question is to mr. levine. this is about the south pacific. we heard in a previous hearing about how the u.s. can be more engaged with resiliency and climate change problems in these areas. you can anticipate a hurricane and they will never move out good can you talk about the development finance cooperation and how maybe, that needs more flexibility to allow us to use this power and get some help? >> absolutely. thank you for the important question. you are spot on that these are nations and islands that are quite vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. that has really been coupled by the significant economic hardship that a number of pacific island nations have faced as a result of the covid
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impact. we are really interested in doing work in this area. we have recently committed a loan and folio guarantee to pop which will globalize 5 million around financial inclusion projects. we are working on a transpacific network of c cables to provide connectivity to palau. we are limited in engaging in this region. under the build act, we are focused on developmental transactions and low to middle income countries. many of the countries in which we are open for business in the pacific are upper middle income for high income countries and a number of those industries are dominated by sectors such as tourism where traditionally, we don't see great development impact. we would love to work together to achieve certain flexibilities
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whereby, we can do more work in the pacific we recently were pursuing investment agreements with the solomon islands and those are promising new opportunities. i think working together, we can do more. >> maybe we could look into how we could have more flexible the -- flex ability. >> great point. thank you, very much. chair recognizes representative phillips from minnesota for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman, greetings colleagues and think to our witnesses. i'm so what we are doing this. it is a shame that for years passed were wasted on this important initiative. we can no longer look at it as domestic policy. you know that better than i do i am pleased that we are discussing how to engage the international committee and engage our resources to do so.
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i was pleased to see your testimony that they invested $14 billion in grant money in 40 countries in africa, asia and latin america. my question is do you view these contacts as direct alternatives to chinese investment? >> thank you for your question, mr. congressman. i appreciate the interest and support for our work and looking at the portfolio, i think we we are really focused on our cingulate mission of economic growth and already reduction through economic growth. there've been a lot of talks about our model but i will talk more about our standards and that. in terms of environmental and social standards as well. i think what i would say when you think of an alternative to
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china, we focus on how we do our programs well to a certain standard, environment of standards, social standards and how we might do it as an alternative or differently than perhaps others such as china might. >> i appreciate that. my question a little deeper is how the u.s. can grow investments and partnerships in countries around the world around healthy and viable alternatives to their initiatives which is my broader question. hope we can cover that at some point. i would like to ask mr. levine, if i could. other nations and institutions make investments and further national investment efforts and i think they show good returns. i do equity investments are treated like grants than they are loans. my question is how this approach
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, how is core equity investments. i assume our ability allows us to sponsor the climate crisis. can you address that? >> if you allow me just to comment on your first question, and note that under the president's leadership and with the partnership in the g7, we are working closely alongside usaid on a build back better for the world initiative which is really designed to assert american values and presence, particularly in the holick strategic transactions were receipt chinese activity and dominance in these key markets overseas. we see that as a key part of what we are doing. the equity question that you asked is relevant to that. a number of development finance institutions, not just those dominated through the belt and rode initiative are quite flexible in their ability to
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provide equity financing which allows for greater the risking of investments in very challenging markets, which is our core mission for these investments. we have a challenge in terms of our scoring. the way that we score our debt investments essentially allows us to leverage greater u.s. treasury funding from the program appropriation that congress provides. that has allowed us over time, to really scale our investments and return money to the u.s. treasury. on the equity side, these are viewed as automatic losses. for any of these projects, say we do a $5 million investment as we announced as a service company in nigeria, that is $5 million out of our appropriations. we are not able to scale not only in direct equity investments which is a big part of our climate pans -- plans in
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the future but keeps us from dispelling in funds investments as we see as another way to diversify our portfolio and scale. we would be grateful for your help in thinking about this issue. i know there have been some discussions at the staff level and eager to follow up. >> thank you. i encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to take heed of that and do our best. with that, i go back. >> as time allows, i had a response as well. >> thank you so much. another 30 seconds. >> i would just say that with respect to china, usa is helping to close these policy loopholes as well as weaknesses in the financial sector that really allow china to exert influence and undermine governance. we will continue to draw on that
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comparative advantage by distinguishing our investment approach to china. ensuring that these safeguards are really built into the projects. >> thank you. and now, i read yield back. >> think it. we recognized mr. snyder from illinois for five minutes. >> i want to thank you and the entire committee for hosting this hearing as the international community meets up in glasgow print out want to thank you for sharing your time today. the stresses are very real for americans as we've seen your after year. we don't have to look for or what to find the impact of climate change and the effect it is having. last year was the most active hurricane season ever. 2019, we've saw the first
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extreme red flag for wildfires. wildfires are raging across 6 million acres in the u.s.. we have experienced many hundred year floods in the past decade. with only if -- within a few years, we have seen record high and record low lake levels at lake michigan. we continue to see this among the highest level of heat and precipitation levels in the region. beyond our climate change is affecting virtually every corner of the globe and every area of our lives. they rightfully note that parts of the world least response will for emitting gases are most at risk from the effects of climate change. the consequence of climate change including food insecurity, economic -- problems will have forced migrations to force all people at risk. the work by each of the agencies is represented today.
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they will address these challenges. it is not enough to respond to the effects of climate change. we have to affect the cause of the climate change. that is why the paris agreements is doing everything we can to achieve our goals. late next week i will reduce a resolution to our commitment for a climate negotiation. it is an important legislation. how is this year different than the past conferences? >> ella jump and having attended many of these conferences in the past. most recently with the delegation in two thousand nine, president obama in copenhagen.
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there is a broad recognition that we are entering a decisive decade on climate. we see tremendous global alignment around that recognition. if we are able to get that recognition at this top. any type of agreement requires unanimous consent given these rules, that would be a critical recognition. we understand that the window, as you pointed out in your opening remarks for limited warming to 1.5 degrees is narrowing. we are running out of time. i think that this year is different in the sense that many countries recognize that on are willing to put ambition forward, financing for it and our goals are to enhance that an increase that and work together with our orders in doing so. >> let me turn to you.
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you mentioned in your opening testimony that this fall short of what we need to rein in climate change. can you touch up on how we close the gaps? while u.s. leadership is so important and while that's how we empower people deck up >> -- people? >> to put it simply, it costs money to transition to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. it is competitive relative to building new infrastructure but that doesn't mean there aren't any cautionary tales in creating the underlying grants and getting the panels installed and so forth. there's is also the work required to rebuild and to rebuild in ways that are climate resilient.
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so that these committees can continue to live in often threatened environments. as senator kerry has emphasized and as president right and acknowledged at the u.n. general assembly in drilling our commitment at the end of the trump administration, we would be nowhere in our negotiations if the u.s. had not stepped up and made that very substantial contribution to having concerns that we have not met our $100 billion pledge. >> how important is it for congress passed the bill back better act as the u.s. tries to help lead in the global fight to combat climate change? >> obviously, supportive of the build back better act. this is the time to act.
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we got act boldly and in significant ways. we appreciate president biden's leadership in that area. i don't know if our colleagues want to add to that. >> i would just agree. we talk about the work we have laid out at the end of the day, it requires resources to carry these things on your as we speak for them and their own appropriations, we can do more with additional funding and it is important to follow through on this. i'll like to underscore that both of my colleagues have notable things about the build back better world. i think we are seeing that as well and the coordination to really jointly, together work to address the climate change. >> i really appreciate the question. not only are we of course,
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supportive of the infrastructure packages under consideration in congress but it is important to note that when we talk about u.s. international development financing and the possibility for that to support u.s. manufacturing, u.s. jobs, strong businesses here at home, that work is complementary to the work that you are all doing to enhance domestic capabilities. that will only enhance our competitiveness overseas when we look at these markets. >> thank you. i am over time. thank you for the extra time. i yield back. >> thank you. the time for questions has concluded. i want to thank the thoughtfulness for their questions. as well as the suggestion. i want to thank our witnesses for your time. you have been so gracious and really reinforcing the fact that
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climate change issues are inextricably related to these omissions and the goals that you have, the organization, the importance of doing that. thank you so much for being a part of this. for the committee members, you have five days to submit statements, materials and questions for the record. subject to the lengthy amount of real spirit i want to thank everybody for their participation here this morning on a very important topic that i am sure, we will be pursuing in many other venues. with >> the ceos of exxon, british petroleum, shell and chevron testify on climate change before the house reform committee. what slug beginning at 9:00 a.m. on c-span3, online at www.c-span.org four full
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coverage on c-span now, our new video app. >> the house unanimously passed legislation to award a congressional gold medal's mislead to the 13 u.s. service members killed in afghanistan during the evacuation of u.s. citizens in -- and afghan allies at the airport. that bill now heads to the senate. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognn?

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