Women are vital to influencing positive climate action
It’s Gender Day at COP27, where world leaders will call for more countries to integrate gender into their plans to foster climate action.
It’s Gender Day at COP27, where world leaders will call for more countries to integrate gender into their plans to foster climate action. Gender Day also aims to discuss the role of women in adapting to climate change and look at existing challenges and success stories to promote gender-responsive strategies and action.
Women and girls already have a key role in achieving the climate targets set at COP26. At the climate summit last November, the Glasgow Women’s Leadership statement was published. Whilst this will require considerable funding, the UK, USA, and Canada all pledged to incorporate gender into their climate finance arrangements.
The importance of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 – achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls – has been highlighted in recent years due to the amount it can impact the achievement of many of the other SDGs. So it will be interesting to see how the discussion develops at COP27 this year.
The role of women in mitigating the impacts of climate change
The role of women in managing the climate change challenge is crucial as typically, women carry a disproportionate load from the adverse impacts of climate change. Despite some progress over recent years, further work is needed to incorporate the gender perspective into policies and processes.
While women, especially indigenous women, are leading frontline climate activism, they are underrepresented in environmental decision-making at all levels. However, given this, women are still well-positioned to help find ways to mitigate the causes of global warming, as recognised by the Paris Agreement.
But it’s not just climate action women can help to shape; it’s culture change too. Introducing programmes to support women’s career progression in environmental societies, quality education and participation in STEM for girls, investing in childcare, paid parental leave and flexible working policies and strategizing against gender discrimination, can all increase resilience, build capacity and knowledge and contribute to improving gender parity in climate leadership. Recent reports have indicated that boards with 30%+ of women are much more likely to succeed in STEM related sectors than companies without female representation.
What climate action has been taken so far?
Women and girls are already leading their own solutions to the challenges of climate change and gender inequality but to improve access to these, they need access to climate finance and skill-building projects. Organisations such as UN Women, WEDO, ActionAid and The World Bank Group are already taking action, designing new legislation, raising funds and promoting programmes to accelerate the empowerment of women and girls worldwide. Here are some of their key initiatives:
- The UN Women’s programmes on leadership and participation provide training for women political candidates to educate, help build their capacity and ‘ensure women’s fair access to political spheres—as voters, candidates, elected officials and civil service members’. Their programmes help to ensure that gender equality is central to public policy and future elections uphold women’s rights.
- WEDO’s Women Delegates Program (WDF) aims to support women’s equal participation in the UN climate negotiations. Their sponsorship is aimed particularly at women from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the form of technical capacity-building, travel contributions and networking opportunities.
- ActionAid is working in the world’s poorest countries to support women to take on more leadership roles. Their programmes support women by providing access secure jobs in safe working environments, with equal wages and social benefits.
- The World Bank Group is doing lots of work to support women in the energy sector across the globe. Their Middle East and North Africa Energy and Gender (MENAGEN) programme looks to promote change in labor to increase women’s economic participation in clean energy transition jobs. They also launched climate finance programme Enhancing Access to Benefits while Lowering Emissions (EnABLE) fund a couple of years ago to identify opportunities to recognise and reward women fairly for their role in reducing emissions.
These examples are just a small selection of available initiatives already committed to. There is still lots to be done, however, the work from these organisations has shown that gender-responsive policy is possible and that in itself should be celebrated.
We look forward to seeing how the conversations unfold at the COP unfold today. Follow along with Inspired PLC’s COP27 coverage, including social media, articles, coverage and sign up for daily updates straight to your inbox on our COP27 Insights Hub.
To honour Gender Day last year, we celebrated the women within our own organisation by asking what inspired them to work in the energy industry and why it’s important to them that businesses instil values with gender and equality at the core. Read the piece in full here: https://inspiredenergy.co.uk/celebrating-women-in-the-energy-industry/
Inspired PLC’s experts can support your business’ energy needs and work alongside your business to achieve its net zero and carbon reduction ambitions. Learn more about what we can do for you by contacting us on 01772 689 250 or email us on [email protected].
Follow along with Inspired PLC’s COP27 coverage, including social media, articles, coverage and sign up for daily updates straight to your inbox on our COP27 Insights Hub.