The Foreign Service Journal - July/August 2017
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that climate change and environmental

challenges more broadly are going away.

And we can still hope that the United

States government will continue to play

a constructive role in bringing people

and countries together. U.S. engagement

will continue, through the states and

cities, through governors andmayors,

non-government organizations and U.S.


We begin with FSO Tim Lattimer’s

account of how the United States led the way to the Paris Agreement. Lattimer

argues that no matter what this adminis-

tration’s posture is on the agreement, the

climate change challenge will loom larger

and larger, affecting vital U.S. interests

around the world—and U.S. diplomats

must be involved.

In “It’s Not Just about Paris: Inter- national Climate Action Today,” form


Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change

Karen Florini and public policy professor

Ann Florini lay out themany ways that

non-U.S. government entities are becoming

deeply engaged on climate change, includ-

ing cities and businesses.The world is

moving forward on climate change with or

without USG involvement, they argue, and

the United States should not leave the table.


Climate Change Diplomacy



ast fall, some eight months ago, the

FSJ Editorial Board selected envi-

ronmental diplomacy as the focus

topic for this July-August issue. The

Paris Agreement on climate change had

been signed by the United States and all

other countries of the world but two, and

had entered into force in November 2016.

Then-Secretary of State John Kerry was

personally involved in the intense all-night

negotiations that led to the final accord. It

was a great story of diplomatic success and

of U.S. global leadership in cooperation

with allies and adversaries alike.

Last fall we were not thinking that

as we put the issue together the U.S.

president would announce that the

United States is withdrawing from the

Paris Agreement. We did not foresee that

environmental diplomacy would become

a toxic topic, rather than a natural place

for U.S. leadership.

Even with today’s uncertainty, and

because of it, we think this month’s focus

is timely and a good

reminder of diplo-

macy’s critical role in

meeting international


Fewwould argue

FSO Jason Donovan shares the ground-level story of the “Path to PACE,”

how the Partnership to Advance Clean

Energy, a bilateral agreement between

the United States and India, helped

create a $4 billion bilateral clean energy

market. Then Todd Evans, an energy

manager in the Bureau of Overseas

Buildings Operations, shows how the

State Department has adopted solar

power in “Solar Overseas: Harnessing the Sun to Power U.S. Embassies.”

Finally, an article from the May 1978



“Decade of the Environment,”


an account of the early U.S. leadership

on environmental diplomacy, including

the Nixon administration’s 1970 creation

of the Environmental Protection Agency

and how that inspired other nations to

follow with their own national EPAs.

In one of two great features this

month, “Making It Work: Conversations with Female Ambassadors,” Leslie Bas-

sett shares excerpts from extensive inter-

views she did with seven ambassadors.

And we asked writer and frequent



contributor Donna Gorman for an

update on how Foreign Service families

are coping with the current hiring freeze.


“Out in the Cold”

describes the crisis

for family members and embassies.

In Speaking Out, Ambassador (ret.)

Bill Burns shares his remarks from

Foreign Affairs Day, his perspective on

“The Value and Purpose of American Diplomacy.”

As always, we want to hear from

you. Respond to the articles in this

issue or raise another topic of interest

by sending in your letters and article



Shawn Dorman is the editor of

The Foreign Service Journal.

Climate change and shifting weather patterns are not the Tinker Bells of science or of policy.

Disbelief, or denial, or a suspension of research will not make melting icecaps, rising sea

levels, desertification and floods go away. …There is change, and it affects human security.

—Ambassador (ret.) Barbara Bodine in her foreword to

“New Challenges to Human Security: Environmental Change and Human Mobility,”

an April 2017 report by Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.