Towards the end of yet another year with a series of extreme weather events, the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C did leave no doubt, that serious climate action has to start now, and also recommends that gender issues have to be considered. We are hoping that actual progress will be made in Katowice (Poland), where the global climate community comes together in December for the 24th UN Climate Change Conference (COP24). In this newsletter, we provide an overview of our work leading up to the conference as well as events in Katowice. Make sure to stay up to date with the negotiations and GenderCC’s activities during COP24 on our website or through Facebook and Twitter!
This edition of our newsletter furthermore reports on the progress made in GenderCC’s current projects, and features some news from the gender and climate change community and a number of recent publications.
We hope you enjoy this issue!
the GenderCC Secretariat team
In October, the final workshop of the project “The contribution of gender justice to successful climate politics: impact assessment, interdependencies with other social categories, methodological issues and options for shaping climate policy” was held in Berlin by GenderCC, and partners from Wuppertal Institute for climate, environment, energy and ISOE - Institute for Social-Ecological Research. At the workshop, results were presented and participants were able to test the Gender Impact Assessment approach developed during the project.
The project was funded within the scope of the Departmental Research Plan of the German Environmental Agency.
Visit our website for more information on the project and a report from the event.
As the pace of the negotiations at the SB48 meeting in Bonn was very slow, the session was suspended and continued in Bangkok, Thailand from 4th to 9th September 2018. With financial support from Bread of the World in a short term project called “Building capacity of gender-advocates in international climate policies”, GenderCC was able to be represented. Together with five participants from Brazil, South Africa, Bangladesh, Germany and Fiji, GenderCC with other members of the Women and Gender Constituency advocated for gender equality being integrated into the work programme of the Paris Agreement. On September 2-3 2018, a training was organised to prepare women to participate effectively at the intersessionals. The training provided a background on the different elements of the Paris Agreement and their specific gender entry points as well as practical exercises on advocacy and communication. The recommendations from the Women and Gender Constituency can be found here.
GenderCC finally got approval for the extension of the Gender Into Urban Climate Change Initiative. From 2018 onwards, Equidad de Genero joined the project team to implement the project in Mexico and, in addition, two more pilot cities in each of the current project countries came on board. During October and November, kick-off workshops for Mexico, as the new project country, and the new pilot cities in India (Chennai and Kolkata), South Africa (Durban and Ekurhuleni) as well as in Indonesia (Yogyakarta and Jember) were held. Gotelind Alber, member of the board of directors, represented GenderCC. She informed the partners on the project implementation plan, and trained the new project teams on gender and urban climate policy and the gender assessment methodology (GAMMA) developed in the project.
On 19th of October, GenderCC took part in the 6th Stuttgarter Forum für Entwicklung on Climate Justice, a nation-wide conference with around 600 participants organised by the Stiftung Entwicklungs-Zusammenarbeit Baden-Württemberg (SEZ). Linda Ederberg from GenderCC presented the Gender Into Urban Climate Change Initiative as best practice example and displayed the explanatory video produced in the project. As panelist on the “Climate and Gender Justice” panel she further discussed with the participants about strategies and challenges of how to integrate gender into climate change policies.
GenderCC has joined the CEDAW-CSO alliance in Germany to work on the alternative CEDAW report and to monitor the implementation of the provisions on a national level. Find more information here.
The 24th Conference of Parties will take place in Poland this year. GenderCC will be present with a delegation of seven persons in each week. The focus of the conference will be the finalisation of the Paris Agreement’s Rulebook (now called work programme). The rulebook will provide the more detailed interpretation of the agreement and thus define the direction of the international climate politics in the next decades. Even though huge efforts were made to agree on more specific information e.g. of the nationally determined contributions, adaptation communication, about how a transparent process could look like and in which way the global stocktake implemented every five years should look like – many questions are still controversial. Therefore, we do not expect that the rulebook will manage to put flesh on the skeleton (i.e. Paris Agreement) but rather that only the next layer will be produced and further details will have to be negotiated later on. In addition, the Polish presidency has produced three different declarations that were firstly presented in Bangkok in September this year. The topics of these declarations are Just Transition, Forestry and Electro-mobility. Even though these topics highlight important aspects on how to combat climate change – the process has been rather nontransparent. Most stakeholder engagement could be observed for the declaration on just transition through the international labor unions. We will update you on the official presentation of these declarations during COP.
Many NGOs, including GenderCC, have been concerned about the “Law on Special Solutions for the Organization of the Next Conference under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in the Republic of Poland” adopted by the Polish Parliament on 10 January 2018 (so called COP24 law) which would shrink the space for civil society during COP24. Since public pressure has not been successful to result in any changes of this law yet, a wide coalition of more than 30 NGOs from Europe and beyond have sent an open letter to the German government (including the Minister of the Environment, Foreign Minister and Minister of Justice) and EU Commission. The objective is to influence the Polish government as well as the Polish COP24 presidency to ensure that no human rights violations will occur and that all participants travelling to Poland feel safe. Read the letter in English or in German here.
In Bonn this May, governemnts and civil society tested for the first time how the global stocktake could look like. The Talanoa Dialogue which was re-named from Facilitative Dialogue during COP23 aims at facilitating more ambition for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Following three questions progress is measured in the Talanoa Dialogue:
- Where are we?
- Where do we want to go?
- How do we get there?
During the second week of COP24, GenderCC will keep you posted about the success and shortcomings of this story-telling session.
Beside the negotiations of the rulebook and the Talanoa Dialogue many other negotiation points are lying on the tables: There will be a workshop as part of the Koronivia work programme on agriculture. We hope to see the finalisation of the negotiations about the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform so that this platform can soon enter into its operational phase. And last but not least climate finance can mark a turning point of this COP and build mutual trust also for other topics: in particular the developing countries are waiting for plans about the financial commitments after 2025 which will build on the 100 billion US$ annually target. Moreover the future of the Adaptation Fund remains unclear under the Paris Agreement. As loss and damage was not integrated into the negotiations on the rulebook, we will closely observe how this topic is framed through the Warsaw Mechanism. We demand to not reduce this important question to a matter of insurances but to plan financial means for losses and damage in particular for those who are the most vulnerable! A detailed document about all key gender entry points during this COP will be found after the WGC strategy meeting on GenderCC’s website. About all progresses we will inform via our social media channels.
As a member of the Women and Gender constituency, GenderCC is also involved in many activities initiated and implemented by the group of women and gender organisations within the UNFCCC. Based on the advocacy work implemented in Bangkok – the WGC will further push for gender equality as a crucial principle of the Paris Agreement rulebook. An important ally in this regard is the Human Rights working group which consists of various organisations from different constituencies aiming at a human rights based approach when implementing the Paris Agreement. The detailed strategy and steps to be taken during COP24 will be defined during the WGC strategy meeting which will be organized on Saturday 1 December as well as Sunday 9 December (for participants arriving only for the second week). The demands of the WGC for climate action and in particular for this COP will be published at the Constituency website in the beginning of the conference. Started at COP21 the Women and Gender Constituency will also award gender just solutions. The award aims at showcasing and rewarding gender just climate actions that can be up-scaled and replicated in order to advocate for gender-responsive climate solutions. The award highlights technical solutions, training or awareness-raising, and transformational solutions that encourage sharing of best practices. The ceremony will take place on 10 December, 2018.
Several participants of the GenderCC delegation, in particular from the Global South will be financially supported. The Not without us!-project will meet during the first week of COP24. The project is supported by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. The project aims at promoting the integration of gender justice within the global climate justice movement and both struggles (climate justice and gender justice) in the international climate regime, mainly at the UNFCCC. It also aims to showcase impacts on the local level of actions induced by the international climate politics. The project targets the local level of the activists to enhance their knowledge about the impacts of and entry points into the international climate politics regime. As part of the project activities a training “Getting ready to advocate for gender and climate justice” has been developed and implemented to support civil society activists getting ready for the upcoming UNFCCC negotiations. The presentation is available here.
The project team includes Dinda from Solidaritas Perempuan (Indonesia), Ndivile from GenderCC Southern Africa (South Africa), Melissa, from the Critical Geography Collective (Ecuador) as well as Nanna from LIFE and Patricia from GenderCC (Germany).
With financial support of the GIZ, GenderCC will also implement a short-term project focusing on building capacity and knowledge exchange among gender and climate activists during COP24 in Poland. The project will fully fund the participation of five Global South activists, from Fiji, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Kenya and Uganda. They will participate, along with interested participants of the Women and Gender Constituency, in advocacy and communications trainings, targeted at the international climate negotiations.
GenderCC COP side events
Women for Climate Justice: Local Struggles, Global Actions
The workshop will initiate an interactive exchange on why it is important for women to struggle together to solve the climate crisis, as well as to achieve climate justice. By Solidaritas Perempuan, GenderCC Southern Africa, Critical Geography Collective, with the support of Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Gender CC –Women for Climate Justice and LIFE.
From local approaches to (inter)national policy: Gender Just Transition and Decent Work
If Just Transition is to contribute to greater equality and justice, it needs to promote rapid decarbonisation. It needs to challenge the inbuilt inequalities that exist between different social groups and move beyond a green growth agenda. By Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, GenderCC, LIFE.
In July 2018 the first women bike salon in Berlin took place. Patricia, staff member at the GenderCC Secretariat and GenderCC member has spoken to Isabell Eberlein who initiated the saloon:
1) Who are you?
I am Isabell, political scientist by education with a focus on environmental policy, cycling activist, networker and communication and event manager at BICICLI.
2) What is Bicicli and what is the "bike salon"?
BICICLI is more than a usual bicycle store. We want to inspire people to cycle by making cycling as easy and convenient as possible. We focus on long lasting and sustainable bicycles. Moreover, we consult businesses and cities in how to encourage their employees or citizens to cycle more with bike-to-work-schemes, corporate and public bike fleets. In our very inspiring BICICLI Cycling Concept Store we come up with the idea of discussing current mobility issues on a monthly basis and called the format “Salon für urbane Mobilität” (Conversation space on urban mobility).
3) How did you get the idea to organise a salon about the topic of women and biking?
In our business we have a quite unusual gender distribution. Currently four women and two men are permanently employed. One of our CEO is a woman and our workshop is run by a woman, too. We are sad to highlight this, but unfortunately this is still very unusual in the bicycle scene. Therefore, we thought it is interesting to exchange our experiences with other women, get together and find new ways to better connect the women in the scene and discuss the topic of bicycles and gender.
4) Which impressions could you collect during the evening (maybe in comparison to previous salons)?
There was a very unique atmosphere at the women’s salon. I particularly liked the appreciating atmosphere among the guests and the high interest in one another. We showed the diversity of people in the bike scene with mechanics, athletes, campaigners, activists, manufacturers and CEOs.
5) What will you remember in particular from the evening?
What I keep from this night as a summary are Marion’s (one of the speakers and mobility campaigner at Greenpeace Germany) words: The mobility transition needs more bicycles. The mobility transition needs more women. And we as women in the mobility sector have to work closer together.
6) What would you like to tell people that are not yet cyclists?
Cycling is liberating and life-transforming. It is the simplest way of transport and you will get around in the city with less stress and a better health. https://bicicli.de/
Our member organisation, the non-profit MSP Institute, who are coordinating a research project on Gender and Chemicals are currently publishing a blog article series on “How to create a gender-just healthy planet”. Every two weeks they publish blog articles offering explanations and background about concepts, tools and strategies to mainstream gender into chemicals and waste management or articles by experts sharing their expertise and experience.
The International Climate Protection Fellowship for young climate experts from developing countries, from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, is open for applications until 1st of March 2019. GenderCC would be happy to host potential candidates. Read the programme’s requirements here and get in contact with us if interested!
As you might have noticed in the last newsletter, the team in the secretariat is growing. At the moment, there are the following employees: Linda, Patricia, Isadora and Ulrike, as well our board member Gotelind and changing interns. Additionally we will have a new student assistant starting in January. So we are happy to have an additional office space in the Weiberwirtschaft in Berlin, where the secretariat is located, since the beginning of November to accommodate everyone.
Older rural women living with drought, Jane L. Rich, Sarah L. Wright & Deborah Loxton (2018)
Women’s experiences of drought are often made invisible particularly in terms of their long-term effects. Drought differs from other “natural disasters” in that droughts are, by definition, experienced over an extended time. This means those experiencing drought do so as they age, with elderly cohorts particularly vulnerable. As such, there is a need to better understand the longitudinal needs and experiences of women living with drought. This study investigates the experiences of drought for 15 Australian women aged over 70, over a period of 12 years. Longitudinal qualitative free-text comments written by the oldest cohort of women in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health were subject to a thematic analysis. Findings indicate that experiences of drought have a relationship to women’s ability to age in ways they may have hoped. Themes of Work and Physical activity, Connection to place, and, Service access were prominent in women’s comments. These results demonstrate that place is an important aspect in the experience of ageing, that work and physical activity often intensify during drought for elderly people who might otherwise be expecting to retire, and that drought presents particular challenges for older women in terms of access to services. This study highlights the complex interactions of living and ageing in drought for Australian women.
Energy Technology Innovation in South Asia: Implications for Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Reihana Mohideen (2018)
This working paper addresses how energy systems and services in South Asia can improve women’s economic empowerment and well-being. The paper focuses on integrating gender equity considerations into technology design and on drawing women into this process for equal employment opportunities. South Asia’s low-carbon energy transition has significant implications for gender equality and social inclusion. The rising energy demand and the commitment to mitigate climate change are the driving force in energy technology innovation. This paper is the beginning of an ongoing research project that will also include a pilot program to field test a gender equality and social inclusion reference energy system.
Access the publication here.
Making climate action count: Mainstreaming gender in climate action to accelerate climate compatible development Aparna Roy (2018)
The first universal, legally binding global climate accord signed at the 21st session of the Conference of Parties (COP) in Paris in 2015 committed to long-term goals for “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.” However, as world leaders prepare for the Facilitative Dialogue (FD) ahead of COP 24 in December 2018, there is a realisation that fulfilling the climate pledge and ensuring a rapid transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient economies and societies would require unprecedented efforts and reallocation of capital that significantly exceed their capacities. This paper argues that optimising development co-benefits from the simultaneous implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as goal 5 on Gender Equality and 13 on Climate Action, is an essential and powerful solution for the success of the Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda.
What about Gender in Climate Change? Twelve Feminist Lessons from Development Anne Jerneck (2018)
Adaptation and mitigation are two key responses to climate change. In the global South they prompt many questions: what is the direction and degree of change needed？ How can new climate change policies be aligned with existing development initiatives? How are core social relations such as gender understood and prioritized in relation to technical and other solutions? In search of synergies between adaptation, development and mitigation, this article asks a pertinent question for sub-Saharan small-scale agriculture in particular: what can adaptation and mitigation learn from development debates on social goal setting, institutional change and gender equality? From the perspective of sustainability science and feminist literature, three main findings emerge. First, as regards social goal setting, adaptation and mitigation should, like development, support the escape out of poverty, ill-health and food-insecurity. Second, as regards institutions, adaptation and mitigation should address how gender regulates access to, use of, and control over resources in terms of labor, land and strategic decision-making power. Third, as regards gender equality, adaptation and mitigation should learn from how development in theory and practice has addressed gender, women, nature, and the environment. At its core, the analysis contributes twelve salient themes that can significantly inform adaptation and mitigation in research, policy and practice, thus serving as inspiration for a critical debate on much needed synergetic trajectories.
30 November, 2018, Berlin, Germany: Patriarchy vs. the climate: Why there is no climate justice without feminism
Shortly before the 24th UN climate change conference (COP24), which will take place in Poland in December, our event offers an opportunity to discuss with activists from South Africa, Ecuador and Germany about feminism and climate justice as cross-cutting issues. Inspired by Naomi Klein's book "This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate" we would like to draw attention to various local approaches. We would like to discuss with our guests about their success stories, why it is important to consider intersectionality in climate solutions and to continuously demand other policies, a change of the economic system, social justice and equal rights. GenderCC co-hosts this event with the Rosa-Luxemburg-Foundation - social analysis and political education and LIFE - education, environment, equal opportunities. Please visit our Facebook page for more detailed information.
2-14 December, 2018, Katowice, Poland: UN Climate Change Conference (COP 24)
COP24 will be presided over by the Government of Poland and take place in Katowice. Stay tuned via facebook and our website during COP24.
11-22 March 2019, New York, USA: sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 63)
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. Priority themes to be discussed will be social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Additionally, women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development (agreed conclusions of the sixtieth session) will be reviewed. More information on the event can be found here.
As GenderCC is ECOSOC accredited, we are happy to nominate some of our members to attend CSW 63 as part of the GenderCC delegation. Please fill in this form until Sunday 16th of December (Deadline extended).