Gender and Climate Change Activities @ COP24 - Katowice 2018

The 24th Conference of Parties took place in Poland this year. GenderCC was present with an own delegation in both weeks. The focus of the conference was the finalisation of the Paris Agreement’s Rulebook (now called work programme) which should provide more detailed guidance on the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Moreover, the Talanoa Dialogue took place in the second week that should facilitate more ambitious National Determined Contributions (NDCs) until 2020. Also the IPCC report on the 1.5°C released in October and being presented during this COP showed the urgency for action. Please see the final press release about the outcomes of COP24 by the Women and Gender Constituency here. A more detailed statement will follow shortly. 

More than 30 NGOs are calling for strong civil society participation at COP 24

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, 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 was to influence the Polish government as well as the Polish COP24 presidency to ensure that no human rights violations occur and that all participants travelling to Poland feel safe. Read the letter in English or in German here.

Unfortunately, we have seen that several activists and accredited observers were not allowed to cross the border or they were deported from their hotel rooms for interrogations. We are very concerned about a precedence for future COPs. EU countries must function as a positive role model for civil society participation and freedom of movement and speech. We will observe the follow-up of these cases and provide more information upon!

GenderCC activities in Katowice

Several participants of the GenderCC delegation, in particular from the Global South received travel and other support to participate at COP24. The Not without us!-project met 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.

During COP24 we organised a workshop about the "Mapping the Body-territory" Methodology in the Greenpeace Climate Hub. The methodology makes you understand in which ways climate change is directly affecting your most intimate territory - your body and inner life. In the workshop we could feel the experience with people from across the globe and shared our thoughts, experiences, feelings and energies as well as our struggles in fighting for climate and gender justice. Melissa Moreano facilitated the workshop together with Ndivile Mokoena and Dinda Nuur Annisaa Yura. Melissa Moreano usually uses this methodology in workshops with indigenous communities and explained: "Our body is our first territory!", using this understanding helps to realise our strengths and common grounds in fighting against what oppresses us.

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 also implemented a short-term project focusing on building capacity and knowledge exchange among gender and climate activists during COP24 in Poland. The project has funded the participation of five Global South activists, from Fiji, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Kenya and Uganda. They participated, along with interested participants of the Women and Gender Constituency, in advocacy and communications trainings, targeted at the international climate negotiations.

In addition, GenderCC in cooperation with Rosa-Luxemburg-Foundation and LIFE- Education, Environment and Equality also held a side event in the official negotiation venue. The title of the side event was "From local approaches to (inter)national policy: Gender Just Transition and Decent Work". As this COP had a particular focus on just transition the panelist of this side event discussed about how Just Transition is to contribute to greater equality and justice. Activists from three different regions provided examples about the needs and conjunctions of feminist and just transition movements in their countries. In order to be transformative just transition needs to challenge the inbuilt inequalities that exist between different social groups and move beyond a green growth agenda.