On the occasion of Earth Day 2008, I would like to highlight the importance of global climate change and its impact on developing countries. Climate change is both an environmental and developmental issue. Many of the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s partner countries, like other developing countries, are in danger of suffering disproportionately from the effects of climate change. Poor countries and communities, in addition to the basic needs of providing for their populations, will be faced with the challenge of preparing for, and responding to, increased volatility in weather patterns, rising sea levels, and other climatic impacts.
At MCC, our mission is to reduce poverty. The most effective way to do that is by helping developing countries tackle some of their most pressing obstacles to sustained long-term economic growth. Climate change presents developing countries with the additional challenge of accessing secure and affordable energy in the context of global efforts to identify carbon-reduction opportunities. As a result, addressing climate change is an important aspect of our work with partner countries as we cooperate to assess and ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of our programs.
Six of our current compact partners—Georgia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Mozambique, Morocco, and Tanzania—include specific activities in their compact programs that are expected to have positive impacts on the global carbon balance. This is a wonderful start, but much work remains to be done.
In the coming months, MCC will seek broad public input—from the academic community, think tanks, NGOs, the private sector, bilateral and multilateral donors, and key stakeholders in the environmental community—on how we can refine and systematize our approach toward climate change issues. In particular, we will explore how we might more explicitly integrate climate considerations into project development and design, as well as into the appraisal process for compact investments. MCC also will actively explore ways to mitigate the environmental impacts of its day-to-day operations and travel, in the spirit of responsible stewardship of Earth’s natural resources.
This process is part of Millennium Challenge Corporation’s ongoing commitment to support partner countries as they tackle the difficult, long-term problems facing their countries—and that we together face as a world community.