Image via WikipediaIn late 2010, the U.S. Government launched a program to help countries develop in a way that ultimately reduces greenhouse gas emissions growth and mitigates the harmful effects of climate change.
"Much more than just a climate change or energy program, the Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies [EC-LEDS] program takes an economy-wide approach," said Kit Batten, United States Agency for International Development Global Climate Change Coordinator. "It's really about sustainable economic growth," she said.
Though the path to low-emissions development may follow a different route in each country, at its core the Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies program helps build capacity through technical assistance for each country to pursue a green-growth strategy, partnering with key stakeholders to ensure the country's needs are met.
Bangladesh was among the first U.S. partners in the program. After initial meetings between U.S. experts and the Bangladesh Government, civil society, and other international donors to assess climate change and development strategies, government representatives are working to jointly map out an assistance plan. The plan identifies ways that the U.S. Government can partner with Bangladesh to help the country achieve low-emissions development.
Another U.S. partner, Mexico has emerged as a developing country leader in promoting green economic growth. In 2007, Mexico established the Special Program on Climate Change, or PECC, which outlines more than one hundred mitigation and adaption objectives to be achieved through almost three hundred actions by multiple federal agencies.
"We would like to prove that a developing country can mitigate and adapt to climate change without hurting the economy," said Fernando Tudela, Mexican deputy secretary for planning and environmental policy. "Our earlier programs [such as support for Carbon Counts] have laid the foundations for our future EC-LEDS work in Mexico," said Kay Freeman, USAID Mexico acting mission director. "We will support the Government of Mexico as it establishes a transparent system for monitoring, reporting, and verifying the country's progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions."
Incorporating the lessons learned in Bangladesh, Mexico and other partner countries, the U.S. goal is to develop low emission development strategies partnerships with twenty nations by 2013. The United States is committed to helping developing nations achieve long-term sustainable economic growth while meeting the challenge of climate change.