Text: H.R.4932 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (02/05/2018)

[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 4932 Introduced in House (IH)]


  2d Session
                                H. R. 4932

To address the disparate impact of climate change on women and support 
the efforts of women globally to address climate change, and for other 



                            February 5, 2018

Ms. Lee (for herself, Mr. Takano, Mr. Ellison, Ms. Barragan, Ms. Wilson 
  of Florida, Ms. Wasserman Schultz, Ms. Clark of Massachusetts, Ms. 
Velazquez, Mr. Kihuen, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. McGovern, Mr. Hastings, Ms. 
 Norton, Mr. Khanna, Mr. Payne, Mrs. Watson Coleman, Mr. Cleaver, Mr. 
Johnson of Georgia, Ms. Roybal-Allard, and Ms. McCollum) introduced the 
following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, 
 and in addition to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, for a period 
    to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for 
consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the 
                          committee concerned


                                 A BILL

To address the disparate impact of climate change on women and support 
the efforts of women globally to address climate change, and for other 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Women and Climate 
Change Act of 2018''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Findings.
Sec. 3. Definitions.
Sec. 4. Statement of policy.

Sec. 101. Federal Interagency Working Group on Women and Climate 
Sec. 102. Development and implementation of strategy and policies to 
                            prevent and respond to the effects of 
                            climate change on women globally.

Sec. 201. Senior coordinator for women and climate change.
Sec. 202. Briefing and report.


    Congress finds the following:
            (1) Women in the United States and around the world are the 
        linchpin of families and communities and are often the first to 
        feel the immediate and adverse effects of social, 
        environmental, and economic stresses on their families and 
            (2) The United Nations has recognized, as one of the 
        central organizing principles for its work, that ``no enduring 
        solution to society's most threatening social, economic and 
        political problems can be found without the full participation, 
        and the full empowerment, of the world's women''.
            (3) The United Nations Development Programme 2013 Human 
        Development Report has found that the number of people living 
        in extreme poverty could increase by up to 3,000,000,000 by 
        2050 unless environmental disasters are averted by coordinated 
        global action.
            (4) Climate change is already forcing vulnerable 
        communities in developing countries to face unprecedented 
        climate stress, including water scarcity and drought, as well 
        as severe weather events and floods, which can lead to reduced 
        agricultural productivity, food insecurity, and increased 
            (5) Climate change exacerbates issues of scarcity and lack 
        of accessibility to primary natural resources, forest 
        resources, and arable land for food production, thereby 
        contributing to increased conflict and instability, as well as 
        the workload and stresses on women farmers, who are estimated 
        to produce 60 to 80 percent of the food in most developing 
            (6) Women will disproportionately face harmful impacts from 
        climate change, particularly in poor and developing nations 
        where women regularly assume increased responsibility for 
        growing the family's food and collecting water, fuel, and other 
            (7) Epidemics, such as malaria and zika, are expected to 
        worsen and spread due to variations in climate, putting women 
        (especially pregnant mothers and women who hope to become 
        pregnant) and children without access to prevention and medical 
        services at risk.
            (8) The direct and indirect effects of climate change have 
        a disproportionate impact on marginalized women such as refugee 
        and displaced persons, religious or ethnic minorities, 
        adolescent girls, and women and girls with disabilities and 
        those who are living with HIV.
            (9) Conflict has a disproportionate impact on the most 
        vulnerable populations including women, and is fueled in the 
        world's poorest regions by harsher climate, leading to 
        migration, refugee crises, and conflicts over scarce natural 
        resources including land and water.
            (10) Displaced, refugee, and stateless women and girls face 
        extreme violence and threats, including--
                    (A) being forced to exchange sex for food and 
                humanitarian supplies;
                    (B) being at increased risk of rape, sexual 
                exploitation and abuse; and
                    (C) being at increased risk for HIV, STIs, 
                unplanned pregnancy, and poor reproductive health.
            (11) It is predicted that climate change will lead to 
        increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather 
        conditions, precipitating the occurrence of natural disasters 
        around the globe.
            (12) The relocation and death of women, and especially 
        mothers, as a result of climate-related disasters often has 
        devastating impacts on social support networks, family ties, 
        and the coping capacity of families and communities.
            (13) The ability of women to adapt to climate change is 
        constrained by a lack of economic freedoms, property and 
        inheritance rights, as well as access to financial resources, 
        education, family planning and reproductive health, and new 
        tools, equipment, and technology.
            (14) Despite a unique capacity and knowledge to promote and 
        provide for adaptation to climate change, women often have 
        insufficient resources to undertake such adaptation.
            (15) Women are shown to have a multiplier effect by using 
        their income and resources, when given the necessary tools, to 
        increase the well-being of their children and families, and 
        thus play a critical role in reducing food insecurity, poverty, 
        and socioeconomic effects of climate change.
            (16) Women are often underrepresented in the development 
        and formulation of policy regarding mitigation and adaptation 
        to climate change, even though they are often in the best 
        position to provide and consult on adaptive strategies.


    In this Act:
            (1) Appropriate congressional committees.--The term 
        ``appropriate congressional committees'' means--
                    (A) the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the 
                Committee on Appropriations of the House of 
                Representatives; and
                    (B) the Committee on Foreign Relations and the 
                Committee on Appropriations of the Senate.
            (2) Climate change.--The term ``climate change'' means a 
        change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to 
        human activity and altering the composition of the global 
            (3) Developing country.--The term ``developing country'' 
        means those countries classified by the World Bank as having a 
        low-income or lower-middle-income economy.
            (4) Disparate impact.--The term ``disparate impact'' refers 
        to the historic and ongoing impacts of the pattern and practice 
        of discrimination in employment, education, housing, banking, 
        health, and nearly every other aspect of life in the economy, 
        society, or culture that have an adverse impact on minorities, 
        women, or other protected groups, regardless of whether such 
        practices were motivated by discriminatory intent.
            (5) Environmental disasters.--The term ``environmental 
        disasters'' means specific events caused by human activity that 
        result in seriously negative effects on the environment.
            (6) Environmental refugees.--The term ``environmental 
        refugees'' means people displaced because of environmental 
        causes, notably land loss and degradation, and natural 
        disasters, who have left their community or country of origin.
            (7) Extreme poverty.--The term ``extreme poverty'' means 
        having an income level or living standard at a level of extreme 
        deprivation based on living with income below 50 percent of the 
        poverty line as established by the individual country at issue, 
        or below $1.90 per day as determined by the World Bank.
            (8) Extreme weather.--The term ``extreme weather'' means 
        unexpected, unusual, unpredictable, severe, or unseasonal 
        weather that is at the extremes of the historical distribution 
        range that has been seen in the past.
            (9) Federal agency.--The term ``Federal agency'' means any 
        executive department, Government corporation, Government-
        controlled corporation, or other establishment in the executive 
        branch of the Government (including the Executive Office of the 
        President), or any independent regulatory agency.
            (10) Food insecurity.--The term ``food insecurity'' means a 
        lack of consistent access to food.
            (11) Most vulnerable communities and populations.--The term 
        ``most vulnerable communities and populations'' means 
        communities and populations, including women, impoverished 
        communities, children, people with disabilities, and indigenous 
        peoples, who are at risk of substantial adverse impacts of 
        climate change and have limited capacity to respond to such 
            (12) Poverty.--The term ``poverty'' means an income level 
        and living standard insufficient to meet basic needs.


    It is the policy of the United States, in partnership with affected 
countries, donor country governments, international financial 
institutions, international nongovernmental organizations, and civil 
society groups, especially those led by women, to combat the leading 
causes of climate change, mitigate the effects of climate change on 
women and girls, and elevate the participation of women in policy, 
program, and community decision-making processes with respect to 
climate change, by--
            (1) establishing the Federal Interagency Working Group on 
        Women and Climate Change, mission of which is to prevent and 
        respond to the effects of climate change on women globally; and
            (2) implementing a coordinated, integrated, evidence-based, 
        and comprehensive strategy on Women and Climate Change 
        throughout United States policies in the future.



    (a) Establishment.--There is established in the Department of State 
a Federal Interagency Working Group on Women and Climate Change, which 
shall be chaired by the Senior Coordinator for Women and Climate Change 
designated pursuant to section 201. Members of the Working Group shall 
be selected by their respective agency heads from the senior ranks of 
such agencies. The Working Group shall--
            (1) be composed of a senior representative from each of--
                    (A) the Department of State, including--
                            (i) the Office of Global Women's Issues;
                            (ii) the Office of Civil Rights;
                            (iii) the Bureau of Oceans and 
                        International Environmental and Scientific 
                            (iv) the Bureau of Population, Refugees, 
                        and Migration;
                            (v) the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, 
                        and Labor; and
                            (vi) the Bureau of International 
                        Organization Affairs;
                    (B) the Agency for International Development;
                    (C) the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
                    (D) the Environmental Protection Agency;
                    (E) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
                    (F) the National Institutes of Health;
                    (G) the National Science Foundation;
                    (H) the White House Council on Environmental 
                Quality; and
                    (I) other members as designated by the Senior 
            (2) coordinate and integrate the development of all 
        policies and activities of the Federal Government across all 
        agencies relating to--
                    (A) combating the effects of climate change on 
                women in the international sphere; and
                    (B) increasing the Federal Government response and 
                strategy to fight climate change for the security of 
                the United States and the international community;
            (3) allow each member of the Working Group to act as a 
        representative for the Working Group within the Federal 
        department or agency of such member to facilitate 
        implementation of the Working Group policies within such 
        department or agency;
            (4) ensure that all relevant Federal departments or 
        agencies comply with appropriate guidelines, policies, and 
        directives from the Working Group, the Department of State, and 
        other Federal departments or agencies with responsibilities 
        relating to climate change;
            (5) ensure that Federal departments or agencies, State 
        governments, and relevant congressional committees, in 
        consultation with nongovernmental organizations and policy 
        experts in the field and State and local government officials 
        who administer or direct policy for programs relating to 
        climate change and women--
                    (A) have access to, receive, and appropriately 
                disseminate best practices in the administration of 
                    (B) have adequate resources to maximize the public 
                awareness of such programs;
                    (C) increase the reach of such programs;
                    (D) share relevant data; and
                    (E) issue relevant guidance; and
            (6) identify and disseminate best practices for improved 
        data collection on the part of each agency and department 
        relevant to the disparate impact of climate change on women, 
        including in--
                    (A) unpaid care work;
                    (B) community advocacy, activism, and 
                    (C) women and girls' access to education;
                    (D) access to comprehensive health care, include 
                reproductive health and rights;
                    (E) desertification and food insecurity;
                    (F) community infrastructure, multi-level 
                Government adaptability, and climate-resilience;
                    (G) climate and weather-related crisis response 
                including safety from gender-based violence; and
                    (H) women's involvement and leadership in the 
                development of frameworks and policies for climate 
    (b) Consultation Permitted.--The Federal Interagency Working Group 
may consult and obtain recommendations from such independent 
nongovernmental policy experts, State and local government officials, 
independent groups and organizations, or other groups or organizations 
as the Senior Coordinator determines will assist in carrying out the 
mission of the Office.
    (c) Frequency of Meeting.--The Federal Interagency Working Group 
shall meet on a quarterly basis to discuss and develop policies, 
projects, and programs, and shall meet with the Senior Coordinator for 
Women and Climate Change on a monthly basis to report on and discuss 
implementation of such policies, projects, and programs.

              WOMEN GLOBALLY.

    (a) Initial Strategy.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
the enactment of this Act, the Senior Coordinator for Women and Climate 
Change and the Ambassador-at-Large for the Office of Global Women's 
Issues of the Department of State, in consultation with the Federal 
Interagency Working Group, shall develop and submit to the appropriate 
congressional committees a United States National and International 
Strategy to prevent and respond to the effects of climate change on 
women. The strategy shall include--
            (1) recognizing the disparate impacts of climate change on 
        women and the efforts of women globally to address climate 
            (2) taking effective action to prevent and respond to 
        climate change and mitigate the effects of climate change on 
        women around the world, as well as to promoting gender 
        equality, economic growth, public health, racial justice, and 
        human rights;
            (3) implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development 
        goals listed in subsection (e), through and beyond 2030, as 
        part of the strategy to prevent and respond to the effects of 
        climate change on women globally;
            (4) implementing balanced participation of men and women, 
        especially individuals from the communities most impacted, in 
        climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts, including in 
        governance and diplomatic positions within the United States 
            (5) working at the local, national, and international 
        levels, including with individuals, families, and communities, 
        to prevent and respond to the effects of climate change on 
            (6) systematically integrating and coordinating efforts to 
        prevent and respond to the effects of climate change on women 
        internationally into United States foreign policy and foreign 
        assistance programs;
            (7) investing in research on climate change through 
        appropriate Federal departments or agencies and funding of 
        university and independent research groups on the various 
        causes and effects of climate change;
            (8) developing and implementing gender-sensitive frameworks 
        in policies to address climate change, which account for the 
        specific impacts of climate change on women;
            (9) developing policies to support women who are 
        particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts to prepare 
        for, build their resilience, and adapt to such impacts, 
        including a commitment to increase education and training 
        opportunities for women to develop local resilience plans to 
        address the effects of climate change;
            (10) developing and investing in programs for the education 
        and empowerment of women and girls in the United States and 
        across the global community, including to gather information on 
        how climate change is affecting their lives and for guidance on 
        the needs of their families and communities in the face of 
        climate change, in coordination with the diplomatic missions of 
        other countries;
            (11) consulting with representatives of civil society, 
        including nongovernmental organizations, faith-based 
        organizations, multilateral organizations, local and 
        international civil society groups, and local climate change 
        organizations and their beneficiaries with demonstrated 
        experience in preventing and responding to the effects of 
        climate change on women;
            (12) supporting and building local capacity in developing 
        countries, including with respect to governments at all levels 
        and nongovernmental organizations (especially women-led), to 
        prevent and respond to the effects of climate change on women;
            (13) developing programs to empower women in communities to 
        have a voice in the planning, design, implementation, and 
        evaluation of strategies to address climate change so that 
        their roles and resources are taken into account;
            (14) including women in economic development planning, 
        policies, and practices that directly improve conditions that 
        result from climate change;
            (15) integrating a gender approach in all policies and 
        programs in the United States that are globally related to 
        climate change; and
            (16) ensuring that such policies and programs support women 
        globally to prepare for, build resilience for, and adapt to 
        climate change.
    (b) Updates.--The Senior Coordinator for Women and Climate Change 
shall consult with the Federal Interagency Working Group to collect 
information and feedback, to update the strategy and programs to 
prevent and respond to the effects of climate change on women globally.
    (c) Implementation Plan.--Not later than 60 days after the date of 
the submission of the strategy under subsection (a), the Senior 
Coordinator for Women and Climate Change shall submit to the 
appropriate congressional committees an implementation plan and budget 
for the strategy.
    (d) Assistance and Consultation.--The Senior Coordinator for Women 
and Climate Change shall assist and provide consultation to the 
Secretary of State in preventing and responding to the effects of 
climate change on women globally.
    (e) United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Through and Beyond 
2030.--The United Nations Sustainable Development goals listed in this 
subsection are the following:
            (1) Ending poverty in all its forms everywhere.
            (2) Ending hunger, achieving food security and improved 
        nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture.
            (3) Ensuring healthy lives and promote well-being for all 
        and at all ages.
            (4) Ensuring inclusive, equitable, and quality education 
        and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.
            (5) Achieving gender equality and empowering all women and 
            (6) Ensuring the availability and sustainable management of 
        water and sanitation for all.
            (7) Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable 
        and modern energy for all.
            (8) Promoting sustained, inclusive, and sustainable 
        economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent 
        work for all.
            (9) Building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive 
        and sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation.
            (10) Reducing inequality within and among countries.
            (11) Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, 
        resilient, and sustainable.
            (12) Ensuring sustainable consumption and production 
            (13) Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its 
            (14) Conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas, and 
        marine resources for sustainable development.
            (15) Protecting, restoring, and promoting sustainable use 
        of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably managing forests, 
        combating desertification, and halting and reversing land 
        degradation and biodiversity loss.
            (16) Promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for 
        sustainable development, providing access to justice for all, 
        and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions 
        at all levels.
            (17) Strengthening the means of policy implementation and 
        revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.



    (a) Establishment.--The Ambassador-at-Large of the Office of Global 
Women's Issues shall designate a current employee serving as a Senior 
Advisor, or equivalent role, to serve concurrently as the Senior 
Coordinator for Women and Climate Change.
    (b) In General.--The Senior Coordinator shall--
            (1) direct the activities, policies, programs, and funding 
        of the Department of State relating to the effects of climate 
        change on women, including with respect to efforts to prevent 
        and respond to these effects;
            (2) advise the Secretary, the relevant heads of other 
        Federal departments and independent agencies, and other 
        entities within the Executive Office of the President, 
        regarding the establishment of--
                    (A) policies, goals, objectives, and priorities for 
                addressing and combating the effects of climate change 
                on women; and
                    (B) mechanisms to improve the effectiveness, 
                coordination, impact, and outcomes of programs relating 
                to addressing and combating the effects of climate 
                change on women, in coordination with experts in the 
                field, nongovernmental organizations, and foreign 
                governments; and
            (3) identify and assist in the resolution of any disputes 
        that arise between Federal agencies relating to policies and 
        programs to address and combat the effects of climate change on 
        women or other matters within the responsibility of the Office.
    (c) Oversight.--The Senior Coordinator for Women and Climate Change 
shall report to the Ambassador-at-Large for the Office of Global 
Women's Issues and the Secretary of State.


    Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this 
Act, and annually thereafter, the Ambassador-at-Large and Senior 
Coordinator for Women and Climate Change shall--
            (1) brief the appropriate congressional committees on--
                    (A) the effects of climate change on women; and
                    (B) the prevention and response strategies, 
                programming, and associated outcomes with respect to 
                climate change; and
            (2) submit to the appropriate congressional committees an 
        assessment of human and financial resources necessary to 
        fulfill the purposes of and carry out this Act.

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