THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
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’saccount 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.
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Climate Change Diplomacy
BY SHAWN DORMAN
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
Fewwould argueFSO 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 solarpower 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 thismonth, “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.
Her“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.