Gender and Climate Change Activities @ COP16 - Cancún 2010

In many respects, women and gender organizations and activists were happy about the outcome of COP16 in Cancún, Mexico. Not only the total number of references to women and gender in the final text of the Ad Hoc Working Group on long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA) increased, there are also qualitative improvements compared to previous draft texts.
Nonetheless, "women and gender" was still sorely missing in key issues under negotiation.
Have a look at the women and gender references in the COP16 outcomes here.

GenderCC published the press statement "Women Can, Men Can't?" highlighting the strong guidance and leadership provided by the two leading women in the process - UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christina Figueres and COP 16 President Patricia Espinosa – as well as by gender activist's and advocates from civil society.

Booth and toolkit

GenderCC was on site to advocate for women's and gender perspectives and to provide information on gender justice and climate policy at its booth, side events, meetings and a press conference.

In particular, GenderCC's toolkit for climate experts and decision-makers covering the major issues of gender and climate change proved to be a successful and comprehensible instrument.

Press conference on financing

Financing and especially the new climate fund were at the centre of COP16. In our press conference and lobby work, GenderCC directed delegates' attention to remaining gender gaps, and put forward concrete requirements for the funds to enhance women’s rights and gender justice.
Particularly, funding criteria must ensure gender-sensitive spending and a direct access modality for organised women's groups and communities should be installed. Also, all governing bodies like the Board need to be based on gender balance. In both the operations of the fund and its projects, gender budgeting must be applied.
Take a look at our position paper on climate financing.

Side Events

At COP16 more side and parallel events than ever before took place discussing major topics and concerns linked to women's rights and gender justice.

Gender into international climate policy - climate and gender capacity building for women scholars
GenderCC and the Colorado State University made an assessment of the progress made in the negotiations towards gender and climate justice. The event also focused on strategies to boost capacity building among women delegates and scholars, thereby engaging women and girls in climate science as researchers and educators and contributing to gender sensitive implementation.
Take a look at Gotelind Alber's presentation and on the ENB coverage.

Capacity building for women. A global research network of women focused on women, sustainability & climate change
As a follow up of the capacity building for women scholars side event, the Colorado State University, GenderCC, the George Washington University and Climatewise Women organised a workshop, which aimed at defining emerging research areas for action and major stakeholders, as well as developing a global research network of women.
Read the report on the side event and take a look at the presentations.

Integration of gender into national climate change policies
In this workshop, experiences in the field of gender and climate change from Bangladesh, South Africa, the Pacific Region, and other countries were shared. Participants discussed the state of public and political recognition of the topic and how to further influence policy processes and raise awareness on the importance of gender and women concerns and perspectives.

Gender, climate change and false solutions
Women are not only the most affected by climate change but also by false solutions for the climate crisis. Together with RECOMA, the Latin American Network against Monoculture Tree Plantations, GenderCC focused in this workshop on the impacts of monoculture tree plantations.

Climate change induced disasters in South Asia - Gender perspectives
New evidence shows that climate change has already affected many sectors in South Asia. Future climate change is likely to affect agriculture, risk of hunger and water resource scarcity as well as forest expansion and migration, and exacerbate threats to biodiversity resulting from land use/cover change and population pressure in most of South Asia. This pointed out the general climate change vulnerability of the region and presented case studies to highlight country specific gender disaggregated impacts.

Interventions on behalf of the Women and Gender Constituency

Ana Agostino (ICAE) addressed women's rights in her intervention in the high level segment. She called for a transformation of our current development paradigms that are driven by markets and profits and for agreeing collectively on a comprehensive approach to combat climate change and save ecosystem integrity and humanity’s future.

Sabine Bock (WECF) spoke at the AWG-KP plenary, stressing the importance for Member States to commit to take serious action in order to prevent a looming climate disaster.

Rachel Harris (WEDO) addressed the delegates at the AWG-LCA plenary and urged them to advance gender mainstreaming and equality in adaptation and mitigation processes.

Mara Zahur (GenderCC) delivered an intervention on the "Nairobi work program on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change" to the SBSTA. While endorsing the efforts of the UNFCCC, she recommended a stronger inclusion of gender considerations at various stages of the program.

Position Paper: Women and REDD

After intense discussions women and gender organisations at COP16 developed a joint position paper on "Women and REDD", expressing their joint concerns regarding proposed policies and incentives to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and enhance carbon stocks (REDD+).