Ironically Gender in the Fossil Patriarchy
Doha, Qatar, 8 December 2012
Press statement by GenderCC–Women for Climate Justice
The UNFCCC talks again failed to deliver an adequate response on the climate challenge. However, often unnoticed by the public, small steps are being taken to improve the international climate regime. Among others, a decision on gender balance has been adopted in Doha to improve the participation of women. However welcome this decision, GenderCC must express its deep disappointment at the watering down of the wording, from the initial insistence on gender equality to its present position on gender balance. Gender balance, though important from an equity and human rights perspective, falls far short of the substantial gender equality needed to accomplish fundamental changes in human behaviour. Gender equality moves us beyond the numbers to deal with issues of substantive equality. Substantive equality would require us to begin to rephrase both climate science and climate politics from a gendered perspective, making true empowerment of women an issue, according to Gotelind Alber, co-founder and board member of GenderCC. “The decision on gender balance, though only a very first step, offers opportunities to strengthen the gender agenda in the UNFCCC process”.
Another outcome of the Doha meeting, the final document of the working group on Long-Term Cooperative Action (LCA) has finally been stripped of any mention of human rights and gender aspects which have previously enriched this document. At the various stages of development of this document, Women and Gender organisations had made major, and often successful, efforts to make this the first UNFCCC document that acknowledges the gender dimensions in all relevant fields, including adaptation, mitigation, finance, technology and capacity building. Yvette Abrahams of GenderCC South Africa: “Having acknowledged that climate change is caused by human behaviour, the UNFCCC must acknowledge that human behaviour is gendered. If we wish to achieve the profound changes required to move human society onto a low carbon development path, we are going to have to deal with the question of gender in a serious and systematic manner.”
GenderCC is also disappointed by the overall outcomes of Doha. Yvette Abrahams of GenderCC South Africa: “How useful gender parity will be in the absence of a highly ambitious legally binding agreement, proper pledges for climate finance which match the anticipated need, as well as real progress on loss and damages, is a question which we need to ask ourselves.”
GenderCC-Women for Climate Justice is the global network of women, gender activists and experts from all world regions working for gender and climate justice.
Women NGOs @ COP 18 lead public action demanding fierce urgency and ambition from governments, say lack of commitment is NOT IN MY NAME
Press release, December 5, 2012
WOMEN AND GENDER NGOS AT THE UNFCCC – COP 18 / CMP 8
Doha, Qatar: Early this morning Women and Gender NGOs at COP 18 representing hundreds of women’s organizations and environmental leaders around the world expressed their dissatisfaction with the positions of many Northern Governments.
Holding signs listing the failures of the negotiations including – “empty financing,” “inequality” “gigaton gap” “withholding safe technologies” “no compensation for loss and damage” at the entrance to the conference site, over two dozen women and men chanted “Not in My Name!” and urged delegates and NGOs to “Sign our petition if the negotiations don’t speak for you!’ https://www.change.org/petitions/commit-to-fierce-urgency-and-ambition-in-solving-the-climate-crisis
The petition asks NGOS and delegates to sign on to a letter (see attached), and calls for “fierce urgency and ambition.” It decries the lack of sincere and effective actions on the part of the countries from the Global North. The drafters say that the COP has no legitimacy to speak on behalf of the people of the world unless they make real progress.
"Women from the Global North are very concerned that their leaders don't commit to the actions which are needed, and don't do enough to support developing countries facing the impacts of our historic misbehavior,” said Ulrike Roehr of LIFE - Education, Environment, Equality, of Germany. “We want to make clear that we will not forget and forgive how they negotiate here".
“Women the world over have been patiently waiting for ‘decisionmakers’ to choose life for people and for the planet,” said Marta Benavides of Siglo XXIII (23rd Century) of El Salvador. Benavides continued, “Unbelieveably, I have met delegates here who are still skeptical about global warming. Denying the science is not a responsible position at COP 18.” “The Doha Climate Change Conference is almost finished and there doesn’t seem to be any sign that the governments will be making the right choices for quality of life for the present and to ensure a future for the next generations”
Marta Benavides email@example.com
Ulrike Roehr +126.96.36.1991 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bridget Burns +1.914.310.3270 email@example.com
Photos are available here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wedoworldwide/sets/72157632172956071/
Press release, May 27 2011
Training on Gender Mainstreaming in Climate Change and Adaptation Programmes
A training of trainers on gender mainstreaming in projects and programmes concerned with adaptation and climate change was convened in the SPC (Secretariat of the Pacific Community) Suva Office, Fiji from 16–18 May 2011.
Organised by the Energy Programme of SPC’s Economic Development Division (EDD), the main objective was to develop and strengthen the capacity of energy and climate change practitioners to integrate a gender perspective into their policies, action plans and implementation plans, including project implementation. The training was attended by 13 participants, four men and nine women, whose work relates to climate change and energy. Representatives of community-based organisations were very interested in the relationship between gender and climate change.
The workshop was part of a project entitled ‘Gender in Adaptation and Low Carbon Development’, which is funded by the International Climate Initiative through the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. The project is currently implemented by the SPC EDD Energy Programme in close collaboration with Gender CC — Women for Climate Justice, the global network of women and gender activists and experts working for gender and climate justice.
Participants were provided with the opportunity to learn about the gender mainstreaming approach and apply their learning by reviewing national adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs) and the Implementation Plan of the Framework for Action on Energy Security in the Pacific (FAESP). The training also highlighted the eight steps on gender mainstreaming in renewable energy projects. It was highlighted that gender analysis should be integrated into project feasibility studies to ensure that gender dimensions are incorporated into energy and climate change adaptation projects and programmes.
‘SPC is committed to promoting gender mainstreaming across all its work. The Framework for Action on Energy Security in the Pacific includes gender equity as one of its guiding principles,’ said John Hogan, EDD Director, when he opened the workshop.
Participants found the training useful and the tools practical, and they committed themselves to applying them to projects in their home countries.
Solomone Fifita, the Deputy Director-EDD Energy at SPC, in his closing remarks, acknowledged the expertise of the trainers — Ana Laqeretabua, a gender consultant; and Brigitte Leduc, Gender Specialist, Human Development Programme, SPC — and encouraged the participants to share the knowledge they had gained. He stated that the Energy Programme would incorporate their improved understanding of the gender perspective into planning and development processes at both regional and national levels.
Contact person: Ms Koin Etuati, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
GenderCC press statement, April 7, 2011
Still A Frozen Pie: GenderCC - Women for Climate Justice on the Bangkok Intersessional Meeting 2011
As the Bangkok climate talks are about to end, there are more reasons for women to be worried about, not only on substantive issues but the very direction where the talks are heading. Efforts of developed countries in keeping the Kyoto Protocol and the Bali Action Plan in oblivion are quite apparent while discussion on the Long Term Cooperative Action has been stalled. We fear that we are stuck with a half-baked pie from Copenhagen and Cancun.
Moreover, we find the floor hardly sifted as commitments of developed countries continue to evade their historical responsibility, the heavy reliance on false and risky solutions and the other pending tasks to avert the current climate crisis.
Mitigation - The level of ambition among developed countries in cutting down their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is way below what science prescribes. And because most of them are so dependent on the carbon economy, developing countries are likely to account for at least 70 per cent of mitigation pledges to be done by 2020.
It is alarming that mitigation efforts include a shift to nuclear energy that has recently demonstrated its devastating impact that even a very advanced and prepared country like Japan could not control. Despite the dearth of gender differentiated data, some studies have shown that women are more keen towards renewable energy sources rather than nuclear. In two surveys in the 1995 and 1997, more Korean women rejected nuclear power. In 2005, only 22 per cent of women favored the delay of Germany’s nuclear power’s phase out.
“Clean energy” likewise still includes large-scale hydropower, despite its long history of forcibly evicting communities in the Mekong and other areas, and degrading river flows and biodiversity, regardless of the “safeguards” funding agencies particularly the multilateral development banks have adopted.
And however important to integrate gender in the carbon markets and REDD Plus, the latter are still false solutions which can lead to a poisonous scramble for resources and engender danger, displacement and disempowerment.
Technology Transfer - There are also no signs of the “intellectual property” regime of being tempered at the very least, making the more appropriate and strategic technologies available and affordable to communities whose climate resiliency needs to be built and strengthened. The same regime saw on many occasions, seeds and plant varieties grown for generations by women and their communities have been taken by companies, if not destroyed by the genetically-modified ones.
Adaptation - We welcome some countries’ call for gender balance in the adaptation committee. However, there is still no clarity on whether gender will remain as a criterion in the selection of adaptation initiatives. There is also no assurance yet whether 50 per cent of the funds will go to adaptation. Even the very constitution of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) remains unclear. We ask for at least 30 per cent allocation of the GCF and so-called innovative sources for women and gender-focused adaptation initiatives.
Finance - But we are not merely asking for a share of the pie: Financial resources for the GCF must be additional, scaled-up, public, grant-based, directly accessible, adequate and predictable. Also developing countries must have a huge stake in the governance and operationalization of the Fund.
With the outcome of Bangkok, we feel that many opportunities were missed. We therefore urge governments particularly developed countries especially the United States to move forward in a way that respects a multilateral process and act on the interest of women and communities.
Download the press statement: Still a Frozen Pie
Contact person: Nina Somera – nina(at)gendercc.net / +63 9218122066
GenderCC press release, March 7, 2011
Women voice their concerns about REDD+
Call for climate justice on International Women’s Day
Women’s groups, civil society organizations and activists have come together to call out for alternatives to the proposed policies and incentives under the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and enhance carbon stocks (REDD+). In a statement, individuals and groups, including indigenous peoples assert that REDD + is still a covert way of allowing greater destruction to the world’s remaining forests and communities, especially women.
Ana Filippini of the World Rainforest Movement explains, “REDD + will contribute to a global land grab of communities' and indigenous peoples' lands and territories, which will particularly affect women. Industrialized-country governments and corporations will only pay for the preservation of forests if they get rights over the carbon in those forests in return. This will have a particular impact on women as their property rights are less secure.”
Under REDD +, developed countries pay a certain amount to governments to keep trees in a forest from being cut. However, the mechanism hardly addresses the climate crisis that is primarily caused by the huge amounts of emissions from developed countries. “The offset mechanism of REDD+ takes away the responsibility for mitigation from the North. Worse, it shifts this responsibility to the South,” Filippini added. While REDD + may facilitate corporations in saving a forest in one place, it allows them to pollute and as a result harm communities elsewhere.
The mechanism is blind to the varying political contexts in countries, lending subsistence communities and indigenous peoples more vulnerable to land grabbing and other forms of violence.
In places where women are so poor and lack legal access to land, REDD + can further disenfranchise them, denying them access to forest resources to meet the nutritional, health and cultural needs of their families and communities. It is also unclear how women’s stake in decision-making can be upheld in this context.
The statement was initially drafted by individuals, women’s groups and CSOs who are concerned with the inroads made by REDD + during the negotiations at the 16th UNFCCCC Conference of Parties in December 2011 in Cancun, Mexico. On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, the statement is being relaunched, opening it for the participation of more stakeholders and strengthening the campaign against REDD + as a false solution to climate change.
If you or your organization would like to make a stand on this issue, add your signature to a growing list of individuals and organizations who would like to keep our forests (and not just trees) free and growing.
Download the press release.
Ana Filippini, email@example.com
Marion Rolle, m.rolle(at)gendercc.net
GenderCC press statement, Dec. 11, 2010
Women Can, Men Can't?
GenderCC-Women for Climate Justice at the end of COP 16
As COP 16 comes to a close, we go home ignoring Ixchel and all other goddesses of reason and undoing the tapestry that could have protected us from either an extremely hot or cold future.“Let not the perfect be the enemy of the good” has been an oft-repeated statement yet the outcome of COP 16 is not even good enough.
True, that a Green Climate Fund has been established. There was also an agreement on the Adaptation Framework. But the expectations were so low in the first place and even then gaps remain so wide.
The presence of an outcome of COP 16 can somehow be attributed to the leadership of UNFCCC Secretary General Christina Figueres and COP 16 President Patricia Espinosa, along with the constant pressures especially from civil society organizations. However, it must be noted that the more powerful of the parties consistently refuse a transformative paradigm and substance in moving the talks forward.
Somehow there is reason to be happy about the women and gender references in the final text of the Long-Term Cooperative Action. These can be found for instance in the preamble, shared vision and adaptation. However, it must also be remembered that the presence of references have not enjoyed a sense of permanence in the whole process, except for boxing women under the umbrella of ‘vulnerable groups’. In other words, there is hardly progress in the way women and gender have been championed and integrated by parties.
Moreover, women and gender are sorely missing in the key topics of COP 16. Gender-balance is not even considered in the board of the Green Climate Fund nor in the allocation and spending of the fund. It will also take a long way before gender is integrated in mitigation.
Indeed the outcome of Cancun is a first step, especially when viewed from the frustrations brought by Copenhagen. But then we wonder, haven’t we always been on our first step since the agreements in Kyoto in 1997?
Unless parties become truly sincere towards an ambitious, binding and just deal, it will remain difficult and even impossible for women and men to have a fair chance of meaningfully engaging in the process and surviving the climate crisis.
GenderCC press release, Dec 3, 2010
Gender in the Search for the Money Grail: GenderCC paints a broader picture on climate finance
3 December 2010, Cancun, Mexico – Much has been said about the negotiations on financing. But discussions after discussions and deadlocks after deadlock, nothing has changed on the issue of gender and women. The words remain invisible and unspoken.
“For the global climate fund to be responsive to the needs of women and communities, gender must be integrated in all aspects of financing, from the management and operations of the fund to the selection criteria of the projects to the monitoring of these projects,” asserts Nina Somera, a member of GenderCC-Women for Climate Change.
GenderCC sets out a few criteria on the allocation for the fund. Drawing from previous studies which show gender differences over preference for public infrastructure and energy sources and consumption, the group recommends that money be allocated for public infrastructure such as water, transport and not highly sophisticated but risky technologies such as nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage.
One example of a gender-sensitive project that strengthens women’s role in addressing climate change is “Gender in Adaptation and Low-Carbon Development.” This GenderCC project aims at enabling women’s participation in adaptation and low carbon development in Bangladesh and the Pacific. “The project will enable women to enjoy alternative livelihood programs in order to maintain family welfare, despite being victims of climate change,” GenderCC member Sharmind Neelormi explains. The project targets the poor women from vulnerable communities and cities.
For the fund, the group suggests a direct access modality that can enable women and community organizations in availing the Fund, especially in contexts where governments are proven to be repressive and unresponsive.
GenderCC shares the positions of progressive civil society organizations that the Fund be new, additional, public, grant-based, non-carbon offsets-based, adequate, automatically replenishable and predictable and that multilateral development banks such as the World Bank be outside the governance of the Fund.
GenderCC-Women for Climate Justice is an international network of women organizations, gender experts and activists who are advocating gender equality and women’s empowerment in the discourse of climate change.
Download postion paper: Gender in the Climate Money Grail
Marion Rolle – firstname.lastname@example.org / + 49-15771903172
Nina Somera – email@example.com / +63 9218122066
Women & Gender Constituency @ UNFCCC Press release, Bonn, August 6, 2010
Climate negotiations more effective if guided by long-term vision – this must include social and gender justice
Along with others at the August 2-6 climate change meetings in Bonn, women and gender groups expressed their support for the new UNFCCC Secretary General, Christiana Figueres, who in a meeting with civil society groups said that negotiations can be much more effective if we recognize a paradigm change based on responsibility to future generations. The human face of climate change must be understood.
We believe that this paradigm change requires a better understanding of the gender aspects of the issues. This includes an analysis of power relations within societies and institutions at all levels; local, regional and global. An example is the definition of forests that is currently being discussed in the negotiations. The on-going destruction of forests creates CO2 emissions, and mechanisms to avoid deforestation are currently under debate. The way that forests are defined and treated through such mechanisms will affect women and their communities. In a statement read at the closing session, women groups expressed their strong concerns that the current definition of forests includes large-scale monoculture tree plantations that have devastating impacts on women's livelihoods and communities in general. Women and gender organizations reject incentive schemes that reduce ecosystems to their carbon value alone, ignoring the important socio-economic, cultural, spiritual and ecological values of forests, which are of essential importance to women and their communities.
Women and gender NGOs were officially recognized as a constituency among other observer groups to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change before the 2009 Copenhagen summit. The constituency includes a growing number of international organizations and networks. Its members will continue to work for ambitious, equitable and binding climate agreements that fully include gender issues.
For more information: the constituency statement to the closing plenary of the negotiating meeting on the Kyoto Protocol of 6 August 2010 as well as work done by the constituency thus far is on-line at www.gendercc.net/policy/conferences.html
Gotelind Alber, GenderCC g.alber(at)gendercc.net
Sabine Bock, WECF sabine.bock(at)wecf.eu
Cate Owren, WEDO cate(at)wedo.org
Press release 11.06.2010
Still lack of ambition and knowledge gaps in climate change negotiations. People-centred research needed
As the meeting of the UNFCCC Convention subsidiary bodies is reaching its end, it becomes obvious that there hasn’t been much progress in reaching an agreement within this year. Though the talks started in a more trustful atmosphere than in Copenhagen, with many delegations affirming their will to negotiate seriously, the most important questions haven’t been tackled yet. Moreover, negotiations are still led too much by national interests rather than by global needs, and by emotions rather than rational approaches based on science.
This is aggravated by the fact that researchers have been looking more into physical aspects of climate change than into social and political issues. In particular cross-cutting issues such as the linkages between Gender and Climate Change have widely been ignored. However, in a number of areas relevant to climate change, there is strong evidence for a gender dimension that needs to be taken into consideration, in particular in regards to vulnerability and adaptation, as well as to attitudes and contributions towards solutions.
“Still, a vicious cycle hampers the exploration of these dimensions in mainstream research: as long as researchers do not look at gender aspects, they will not find them, and gender aspects will continue to be concealed”, formulates Gotelind Alber from GenderCC one of the findings of a symposium which took place back to back to the negotiations. GenderCC – Women for Climate Justice together with BRIDGE, GDN, Bread for the World, EED and LIFE invited climate change and development researchers, practitioners and experts to discuss existing research gaps, and develop recommendations for further research. Participants emphasized that research clearly should respond to the needs of communities on the ground, and empowering men and women to participate in decision-making and implementation. This implies people-centred and participatory methodologies. More research is also needed to enable the development of gender sensitive policies, programmes and measures in adaptation as well as in mitigation. To move the issue forward, par-ticipants agreed upon strengthening joint efforts and gathering information by building up a gender and climate change research network.
“We don’t need research for the sake of research. But we urgently need more knowledge to improve policy-making as well as activities on the ground”, concluded Maira Zahur, a researcher in the field of Gender and Disaster.
For more information, please contact:
cell phone +49.176.94261787
Press briefing April 10, 2010 at AWG9 in Bonn
A Gender Just Climate Regime: What’s at stake in Bonn and on the way to Cancun?
Press briefing by GenderCC, WECF, WEDO, LIFE
The press briefing was the first one to be co-hosted by members of the Women and Gender consituency. Ulrike Röhr, LIFE - Equality, Environment, Education, opened the session by introducing the constituency. "Though we sometimes follow different strategies, or differ in positions, our commen ground ist to integrate gender perspectives into the outcomes of the negotiations and in the mechanisms to mitigate climate change and to adopt to it."
Marine Franck, Policy officer Climate Change WECF France, focused on procedural and organizational aspects and the involvement of civil society. Climate impacts require urgent attention and treatment by all Parties, another failure is possible in Mexico and this is why procedural issues have to be taken seriously. This summit in Bonn is a first step, a move on, an opportunity to rebuild trust and hope. Delegates and civil society have the capacity to create a clear consensus and tackle the climate change challenge.
Sandra Freitas', Global Advocacy Associate/ WEDO, key message was that 2009 was a historical year for gender and climate change because for the first time in the UNFCCC process gender considerations were included in the outcome of the work of the convention. Reaching a post 2012 agreement this year remains a challenge; however gender advocates will continue to push for stronger gender language and a truly equitable outcome.
Gotelind Alber, Board Member GenderCC - Women for Climate Justice, concluded by addressing the gaps in the current negotiation documents in terms of women and gender. The gender dimension is still marginally recognised in mitigation, technology and financing. She addressed in particualar women's strong rejection of pseudo-solutions such as nuclear energy production, carbon capture and storage and geo-engineering which do not offer sustainable solutions and tend to shift the problems to future generations.
Press Release 11.03.2010
A planet of men? Since when? - UN forms an all boys club for climate change financing
Two months after the failure of COP 15 in Copenhagen, Denmark, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon announces the creation of an all-men advisory body for climate change financing. With an ambitious task of "build[ing] momentum towards a successful negotiation of a comprehensive climate change agreement," the body is expected to mobilise funds amounting to US$100 billion annually until 2020 to support the poorest nations affected by climate change.
While the formation of an advisory body is an expected measure out of the weak Copenhagen Accord, its all-men membership comes as a surprise, especially as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change has increasingly recognised the dire impacts of climate change on women and the latter's contribution to rehabilitating and keeping the earth's resources.
"If we want to overcome gender inequalities, we need to have women in climate change decision-making process", remarked Ulrike Roehr, GenderCC -- Women for Climate Justice board member. "Women like Joke Waller-Hunter [predecessor of Yvo de Boer, UNFCCC-Executive Secretary] have guided the process in many positive ways," she added. "The nomination of the next UNFCCC-Executive Secretary is another chance to
implement gender equity: let her be female!"
While we are aware that the appointment of women does neither necessarily translate into women's empowerment nor gender equality, we need to ask: Has the world run out of women experts? Is the planet consisting of men alone? Is it not for such imbalances that this climate crisis exists?
GenderCC, alongside with women and gender experts from all over the world, therefore asks UN-Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to make sure that the climate change financing group as well as the whole process respects gender parities and gendered perspectives.
There's no climate justice without gender justice!
For more information, please contact:
Press release 22.12.2009
WOMEN DISCOURAGED BY COP OUTCOME – BUT COMMITTED TO HOPE AND ACTION FOR 2010
The lives of millions of people are at stake, entire nations are expected to disappear under the ocean, and yet world leaders in Copenhagen failed to commit to necessary measures for an equitable, just and legally binding post-Kyoto agreement to tackle climate change.
The women’s organizations comprising the Women and Gender Constituency under the UNFCCC– including WECF, GenderCC, WEDO, LIFE and others– are dismayed by the lack of progress. Women are among the most urgently affected by climate change and, at the same time, key agents of change - and we see that there is no time to lose.
As UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer puts it, the Copenhagen summit was “a rollercoaster ride”. Far from a comprehensive agreement to tackle the world’s most comprehensive problem, the outcome of the Copenhagen Conference of Parties was a mere “Copenhagen Accord”, negotiated by a small group of the key countries, and “noting” the necessity to contain global warming to the 2 degree C limit. The Accord calls for commitments by industrialized countries and engagement of developing countries, but does little to specify how this will occur. Even more concerning, not all countries even agreed to acknowledge this step due to the dominance of world superpowers in drafting the Accord.
With current promises on the table, global warming will reach well beyond the 2 degree limit; scientists on site urged that this type of inaction will actually result in a 3.5 degree increase this century. With even the most optimistic outlook, the outcome of Copenhagen suggests the inevitable: small islands will disappear, global economies and states’ security will be in jeopardy, and those populations in already fragile positions will be further entrenched in poverty, the world over.
While gender-sensitive text remained in the negotiating documents until the end, these texts mean nothing without an overall outcome which will protect the lives and livelihoods of everyone on Earth. As the AWG-LCA process is now mandated to continue until COP-16 in Mexico, the strategies for ensuring gender responsive texts be maintained and strengthened must go hand-in-hand with the message that every country must step up and commit to action.
The Women and Gender Constituency further expresses grave concern over the issue of transparency and access at the Copenhagen COP. The failure to ensure conference accessibility to the thousands of accredited civil society representatives was a dire indication of the inability to tackle climate change in a comprehensive, equitable, transparent and just way. Many partners came well prepared with presentations, research materials, documentation and personal testimony – all ready to contribute to a real outcome of the COP. Many of these partners were never granted access to the Bella Center, limiting the options for finding a solution to climate change, silencing their voices, tossing millions of dollars into a place ill-equipped to receive its visitors. An evaluation of this process must be conducted immediately in order to ensure that these mistakes will not be repeated in the future.
Is there still hope? There must be. To give up on the process would be to give up on millions of people whose lives depend on a strong, legally binding agreement. There must be individual action, committing to change and making a difference at the household, community, regional and national levels; there must be renewed commitment by our world leaders to look beyond mitigation as a burden on GDP. Women are ready; we are committed to this process and remain optimistic that tackling climate change offers an unprecedented opportunity to transform towards sustainable, low-carbon, transparent, equitable and just economies.
At the global and national levels, we therefore call for
- increasing the number of women chairs in the UNFCCC
- meaningful participation of women and men from all sectors in national and global climate policies
- strengthening a commitment to prioritize the most vulnerable, and strengthening gender-sensitive approaches in the draft Mexico agreement
- increasing access for women to existing mitigation and adaptation funds
At the individual level - in every aspect of our daily lives – we call upon women and men to secure the future of our children and our grandchildren as consumers, educators, advocates and leaders
- to make use of our power as consumers, and to support services and products which are healthy for the climate and the planet
Without a binding agreement, the only real success of Copenhagen can become a broader movement of citizens and consumers, fueled by the behavior of each to switch to a sustainable way of life, and can become the base for a global, ambitious, equitable, legally binding agreement for climate protection in Mexico next year. It is not too late yet; we must not lose hope.
GenderCC: Gotelind Alber, g.alber(at)gendercc.net, mobile +49.151.15240802
LIFE e.V.: Ulrike Roehr, roehr(at)life-online.de, mobile +49.179.2031511
Press Release, 17 December 2009
COP 15: When there are no people, how can there be women?
We, women are appalled and alarmed.
After more than 10 days of technical negotiations and with the resignation of the president of this COP supposedly because of “procedure,” there are still no firm and worthwhile commitments on the table. Worse, civil society has been effectively excluded from its already marginal participation.
It is for this reason that driving away civil society at the Bella Centre becomes most alarming. However diverse their ideologies and interests are, their rootedness in communities actually gives NGOs more legitimacy to engage in a global process that would determine the future of the environment where communities are dying and struggling to survive.
With the exclusion of the people from the process, the COP 15 is now operating without the heart of the process. Heads of State are now debating without the pulse of the people, which could have tipped the power balance in a process that continues to be held hostage by the United States, European Union, and others.
Today, developed countries are still not committing themselves on the real solutions: drastic emis-sions cuts and clear schedules, and appropriate responses in terms of adaptation, mitigation, including lifestyle changes, technologies, financing, and effective monitoring mechanisms. We are dismayed that non-Annex 1 countries are also complicit in the high-growth and billion dollar pay-off deals.
However discouraging and expensive, we invested into the COP 15 process with the faith in promoting women´s perspectives among national delegations and integrating gender issues more comprehensively into the documents. We raised money, left our families and homes, traveled so far, and brave the cold just to be here on behalf of women and communities especially from the global South. This, because we still believe that the United Nations is a space worth our engagement even as we continue to question its market-oriented framework of the climate talks, and many other shortcomings.
Women, especially from the South, have lower carbon footprints. Moreover, the food, water, fire-wood, energy and other resources we access are not for ourselves alone. These are shared with our families and communities. Women´s close relationship with communities and environment has made us indeed critical in responding to the global climate crisis. Longstanding power relationships have also kept us from owning land, denied equal access to the labor force, and limited political participation. We are constantly at the bottom of every demographic segment in any crisis. At the same time we are at the forefront in coping with the impacts of these crises.
While we are grateful for a Women and Gender Constituency within the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) being accepted, and the openness of some national delegations to our objectives, we cannot celebrate the mere inclusion of women and gender into the language when the process has become so extremely undemocratic and opaque.
We reject the concept and creation of an “alternative space” for civil society after we have been forced out of the Bella Centre. This is not a space for meaningful participation. It is a mechanism of effective exclusion.
There is no participation in partition. There is no process without people.
There is no climate justice without gender justice.
There is no gender justice without climate justice.
For more information, please contact Gotelind Alber, mobile +49.151.15240802
Press Release, 16 December 2009
Gender Champion of the Week Award
The Women's caucus and the Women and Gender constituency today honoured
two countries which have continued to promote a strong gender focus in
the negotiations of COP 15 of the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change. Key global leaders have been referring to the need to
focus on women as agents of change and gender-sensitive approaches in
all aspects of climate policies and programmes, but little commitment
remains in the current drafted texts.
Therefore, in this second round of the Gender Champion of the Week
Award, the Women and Gender Constituency wants to highlight the great
effort made by delegations in trying to bring a gender approach back
into negotiated COP15 document, but also for their efforts at home.
The first GENDER CHAMPION AWARD of the second week of the UNFCCC
negotiations goes to GHANA. Ghana has committed itself to the promotion
of gender in climate change adaptation and mitigation, through:
- Setting up a focal point on gender and climate change at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- Collaboration between the gender focal point of the EPA with other government institutions such as the Ministry of Women's and Children's Affairs (MOWAC) and civil society organizations such as ABANTU for Development to incorporate gender responsive measures in combating desertification in Ghana.
- Incorporating gender issues and indicators into the proposal for the National Adaption Plan to ensure that the differential experiences, knowledge and perspectives of women and men become core issues to be addressed.
- Having developed a gender responsive national disaster risk management/reduction plan/programme by the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) in collaborating with civil society. Furthermore, at the COP here, the Ghana Team is promoting gender sensitive approaches, as were evident from the president's speech, the speech of the Minister of Environment (who is also a woman), and presentations on REDD, adaptation, and capacity building.
The second GENDER CHAMPION AWARD goes to ICELAND, for including a strong
gender language into the shared vision document last Friday.
The award was handed over to the winners during the side event "Climate
Change -- Women as Agents of Change" today
Gotelind Alber, Focal Point Women and Gender Constituency, Phone +49.151
Press Release, 16 December 2009
COP 15: Good Chances for Gender Language but Still Bad for the People
There are reasons to be happy in the recent past. Women have been recognised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as stakeholders, with the creation of a Women and Gender Constituency. We have seen more and more national governments that are pursuing a gender language into the texts that would eventually form the outcome document of COP 15. We have seen them become more understanding of the linkages between women and climate change.
However, there is still no assurance that our bottom line will be met: the articulation of women as stakeholders in the UNFCCC process and as stakeholders in addressing the climate crisis at the very heart of the outcome document.
Noting the continuing reluctance of developed nations to accept their historical responsibilities by significantly reducing their emissions and paying their ecological debt as well as the violent crackdown of last Saturday’s peaceful mobilisation, this development at the Bella Centre signals the death of democracy in a process that would determine the future of the only planet where we live and struggle as we relate with our own species and the environment, shape communities and societies, nurture and negotiate with our identities.
Admittedly, the integration of gender into the outcome document is just the tip of our struggle. To begin with, much remains to be desired in the process and its framework that has allowed the environment and the climate to be traded as commodities. But as people are gagged and the gates of the Bella Centre remain close, this process will only aggravate the very inequalities and inequities that have led us to this climate crisis.
Despite its flaws, we believe that the Kyoto Protocol must be kept. We affirm that developed countries must pay for climate change with their public money. We call for democracy in this process.
Women are part of the people. Let the people decide. Open the Bella Centre.
Press Release, 8 December 2009
gender into climate policy
INTERNATIONAL NETWORK GENDERCC – WOMEN FOR CLIMATE CHANGE RELEASES NEW ‘GENDER INTO CLIMATE POLICY’ TOOLKIT
Women Leaders Announce COP15 Goals and Expectations
Women’s organisations and gender activists have been lobbying for the recognition of gender issues and the inclusion of women in decision-making in the UNFCCC process for quite some years – sharing positions on mitigation, adaptation, financing, REDD; technology sharing, and so on. At these final stages of negotiations, however, their goal is to see at least one, strong reference to women and gender issues included in the Copenhagen agreement. “With that, we can work further, advocating towards our national governments, working with donor agencies and observing international organisations”, says Titi Soentoro (GenderCC Asia and NGO Forum on ADB).
In essence, the group argues that the full integration of gender perspectives is essential to effective action on all aspects of climate change. Women’s leadership and meaningful participation, and their engagement as equal stakeholders in all climate related processes and implementation must be guaranteed. Though more and more people recognise that sustainable and effective climate policy needs to integrate a gender perspective, few people know how to do this. Now, they can find out very quickly. GenderCC – Women for Climate Justice have developed a toolkit for climate experts and decision-makers: “gender into climate policy”. It covers the major issues of the climate change negotiations - the (gendered) causes as well as the impacts and the proposed solutions, recommendations for gender-just technology transfer and financing mechanisms. Additionally, the toolkit introduces methods to be used for mainstreaming gender into climate policy on national and international levels. It presents principles for gender-sensitive communication, together with facts and figures related to gender and climate change.
“All stakeholders involved in the negotiations should understand how ‘gender’ is related to climate change and how climate change is impacting gender relations”, Ulrike Röhr, GenderCC explained why they published the toolkit. “It is vital to reach a future climate agreement and the toolkit “gender into climate policy” aims to make sure that policies advance gender equality instead of ignoring, or damaging them”, she continued.
Women and men contribute differently to the causes of climate change, deal with the consequences in different ways and favour different solutions to mitigate based on their specific experiences. This is the story told by 12 women living in Bolivia, Germany and Tanzania in the recent release “Empowering Women. Changing the Climate! Women and Climate Change”. The women explain how climate change is directly impacting their lives, and how they deal with the consequences. They also share their thoughts about how to protect the climate and create global justice, at the global and the individual level. And they illustrate their experiences with captivating photos from their countries, villages, and farms.
One key message of the book, presented by Andrea Guzmán from Bolivia, is “The knowledge and wisdom of women, their ideas and strategies must be taken into account. All measures have to contribute to eliminating gender inequalities at the same time as protecting the climate. There won’t be climate justice nor effective climate protection without gender equality!”
The Association for Development Policy in Lower Saxony (Verband Entwicklungspolitik Niedersachsen e.V., VEN), Germany, CENPROTAC in Bolivia and INADES Formation in Tanzania collaborated to produce the book, raising awareness about the global effects of climate change and In highlighting the perspectives and ideas of women.*
For more information about the work of GenderCC and the Women and Gender Constituency, please contact Gotelind Alber, mobile +49.151.15240802
For more information about the toolkit “gender into climate policy” contact Ulrike Roehr, mobile +49.179.2031511.
For more information about the book “Empowering Women. Changing the Climate” please contact Marion Rolle, mobile +49.179.94261787, firstname.lastname@example.org
* The book came about in cooperation with the German Foundation Life & Environment (Stiftung Leben & Umwelt),the Federation of educational initiatives of Lower Saxony (VNB) and the Agenda 21-office of the state capital Hannover.
Materials also available at the GenderCC booth, H-012A.
Bangkok, October 5, 2009
GenderCC - Women for Climate Justice held a formal press conference today to announce the awarding of provisional constituency status for Women and Gender NGOs. Hailed as a significant accomplishment for women, Felicia Davis, GenderCC US Focal Point, publically thanked UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer for awarding the status that will help the groups to advance gender perspectives in the climate negotiations.
High on the agenda for GenderCC is the inclusion of paragraph referencing women in the UNFCCC’s Shared Vision. Titi Soentoro representing an Asian NGO introduced language* designed to remedy the currently fragmented and insufficient references to women and gender throughout the draft negotiation text. Soentoro noted that there are whole sections that lack any reference to women including important financing and technology transfer sections. Soentoro referred to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, who has clearly articulated the important role of women in addressing climate change when he told the UN General Assembly last month that, “Any outcome of the AWG LCA that does not clearly reference women and gender would be very weak and critically flawed”.
The press conference culminated with the sharing of the Asian Women´s Declaration adopted during a training on women and climate justice co-sponsored by GenderCC, on October 28 and 29. Esperanza Santos underscored the need to include grassroots and indigenous women in the negotiation process. Santos stressed the fact that women are half of the world´s population, are responsible for a large share of agricultural productivity, and are most vulnerable to climate disasters.
Gotelind Alber, international secretariat for GenderCC was on hand along with steering group member Anna Pinto, India, to answer questions from the audience. Rosemary Enie of Liberia served as moderator for the press conference.
* The following text is proposed to the Shared Vision: The full integration of gender perspectives is essential to effective action on all aspects of climate change; adaptation, mitigation, technology sharing, financing, and capacity building. UNFCCC processes must ensure compliance with existing women’s rights standards and best practice as enshrined in CEDAW*, MDGs* and Security Council Resolution 1325*. The advancement of women, their leadership and participation as stakeholders in all climate related processes and implementation must be guaranteed.
CEDAW: UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
MDGs: Millenium Development Goals
SCR 1325: Security Council Resolution 1325 on Peace-Building
Contact: Ulrike Roehr (GenderCC), mobile: +49.179.2031511, email: u.roehr(at)gendercc.net
Climate Talks for People's Needs, Not Corporate Greed!
1 October 2009, Bangkok, Thailand
We, women, environmental, indigenous people's and women’s rights organizations from Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and other Asian countries today unite by unfurling a giant collaborative quilt on the impacts of global warming on Asian communities and the people's responses to these problems in front of the United Nations ESCAP building for the ongoing United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change intersessional meeting.
Quilts are cultural symbols of unity, creativity and diversity. This collective work threads through testimonies and sews together stories of how global warming is negatively affecting the lives of the most marginalized sectors within Asia's poorest countries. It is a work of solidarity by the sectors who feel the various ecological and economic effects of climate change firsthand and who stand for climate justice, accountability, and the people's needs.
Asian grassroots women are now calling for action on climate change and its impacts. The colourful images and symbols in the quilt aim to articulate the following points:
- Climate change and global warming will impact more gravely and harshly on the lives of the marginalized and poor sectors.
- Deep and drastic cuts by the largest greenhouse gas emitters are needed now.
- The people's needs, not corporate greed, should be the focus of the ongoing UN climate talks.
Kvinden & Samfundet - Danish magazine Woman & Society
Kvinder skal sidde med ved klimabordet
Archive Press Releases
Gender Justice is Climate Justice
Press release December 8th 2008, Poznan