Exposing the gender gaps in financing climate change mitigation

November 20, 2013 12:46 PM

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Source: Tue, 19 Nov 2013 01:00 PM

Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Over the past few years, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has adopted gender-sensitive decisions on nearly every thematic area of the climate change negotiations.

While there has been exceptional progress on the understanding of the intersection of gender equality issues and climate change adaptation, less is understood about the connections between gender equality and climate change mitigation.

New research, authored by the International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy (ENERGIA), published by the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA) and the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) and supported by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), exposes aspects of this crucial nexus.

Exposing Gender Gaps in Financing Climate Change Mitigation – and Proposing Solutions’, available online in a summary factsheet (in English, French and Spanish), presents three case studies and an overview that contribute to the limited pool of research on the linkages between gender equality and mitigation finance.

It highlights best practices from mitigation projects implemented in Colombia, Mali and Nepal, and makes recommendations for next steps to improve research on the issue and develop gender-sensitive tools geared to climate finance and mitigation experts and practitioners.

In Bogota, which hosts the first transportation project approved by the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), efforts have been made to increase and maximise women’s ridership by creating separate entries for pregnant women, designating seats for women and children and instituting a campaign to address sexual harassment and the safety of women on crowded buses.

The Bus Rapid Transit system reduced carbon dioxide emissions by over 1.6 million tonnes between 2001 and 2008, with 250,000 tonnes per year expected after 2012, totaling over 5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent by the end of a 21-year operating period.

After implementing a rural energy project in Mali with support from the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility, the Mali government recognised that to increase the reach and use of renewable energy in rural areas, women’s participation was necessary.

Based on the results of a gender assessment, the Malian government took measures to increase women’s participation and formalise a gender focal point in its services agency. Because of the project’s potential for increasing adoption of renewable energy technologies, it was chosen as one of the pilot countries for the World Bank’s Climate Investment Fund Scaling up Renewable Energy Program.

Recognising that women are primarily responsible for household cooking and fuel supplies, the Nepal Biogas Support Program (BSP), which promotes locally produced biogas for cooking and lighting in rural areas, undertook a gender assessment with the support of ENERGIA.

The BSP implemented several of the recommended measures, and two years later there was a significant increase in women’s ownership and leadership of cooperatives for financing of biogas systems. A registered CDM project, it yielded the highest carbon dioxide equivalent reductions per year (50,000) of any least developed country CDM project.

This publication comes at an opportune time – the international climate change negotiations are taking unprecedented steps in actions on gender equality issues. This year, for the first time, an in-session workshop on gender and climate change took place at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s annual Conference of Parties (UNFCCC COP19, in Warsaw, Poland).

WEDO and the GGCA look forward to working with partners toward next steps, building on this research as the initial foundation of an extensive body of knowledge on gender equality and climate mitigation finance.

Source: trust.org

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