Minister of Environment’s Visit to Lagos In Pictures

On 14th of November, 2015, Ms Amina J Mohammed the Honourable Minister for Environment visited 3 sites in Lagos state Alpha Beach, Kuramo beach  and Makoko community. Read the full story on Enviro news http://www.environewsnigeria.com/amina-mohammed-visited-impacted-sites-lagos/

 

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World Leaders Welcome Paris Climate Agreement Amidst Rejection by the Civil Society

The opposing reactions of party delegates and civil society to the new Paris climate Agreement reveals a deep divide in their aspirations and visions for the agreement.

It is ironic that while parties are congratulating themselves for a job well done the civil society is greatly disappointed and condemns the   agreement

The civil society’s grouse with the agreement is that it is  lacking in  ambition, weak and unable to protect  the most vulnerable  from the catastrophic impacts of climate change. A climate agreement that exempt developed countries from liability for loss and damage and set the world on a pathway to 3 degrees warming has little or nothing to do with protecting the people and planet.

Earlier in the day, there were various actions throughout Paris  by the civil society and other stakeholders  to demand climate justice in anticipation of the new  agreement but this did not stop the adoption of the agreement. Though some parties admit that the agreement is not perfect but they believe that it is a step forward in the fight to combat climate change.

Beyond the excitement of leaders here tonight, a lot will depend on the actions that will follow the adoption of this agreement in the following years. Whether this less perfect agreement will lead us to  a resilient, sustainable and  renewable future remains doubtful.

Women and Gender Constituency Response to Draft Paris Outcome

 

 

11 December 2015
http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2015/cop21/eng/da02.pdf
Summary
The capacity for the Paris Agreement to deliver a binding, ambitious, fair and gender just outcome that will limit global warming to below 1.5 degrees and transform polluting and inequitable economies continues to be at risk.

The most recent draft, issued by the French Presidency on the anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, adopted here in Paris on December 10, 1948, represents a disappointing step away from the promised commitment to human rights and at the same time, it
suggests a move to pressure developing countries into accepting a weaker outcome in the final hours of negotiations.

Fundamentally, this agreement does not address the needs of the most vulnerable countries, communities and people of the world. It fails to address the structures of injustice and inequality which have caused the climate crisis.
Our key concerns includes:
● Weak goal on limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, with total failure to address or mandate actions needed from developed countries to attain this goal;
● Failure to enshrine human rights, including the rights of indigenous peoples, gender equality, a just transition of the workforce that creates decent work and quality jobs, food
security, intergenerational equity, and ecosystem integrity in the core of the agreement;
● Total shift away from implementation in line with the principles of the Convention, namely common but differentiated responsibilities;
● Offsetting as mitigation measures;
● Failure to ensure compensation for loss and damage;
● Dilutes the responsibilities of developed countries to provide climate finance; with weak provisions for public finance and grants over loans;
● No provisions to ensure that technology development and transfer are safe, socially and environmentally sound.

Analysis
Preamble/Article 2.2
● Article 2.1: The current purpose of holding global temperature increases to “well below 2 degrees” and “pursuing efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees” is ambiguous and does not reflect a strong enough commitment to 1.5 degrees, which would be necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change.
● Article 2.2:
○ Rights language has been lost: a s recently as this week, Article 2.2 of the draft agreement included strong language on human rights and gender equality. Despite the urging of many Parties to ensure these crosscutting
principles are returned, a reference to gender equality was not restored and “human rights” was removed. This must be reinserted
within the operative text of the Agreement.

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Statement Delivered by The Executive Director of C21st on Behalf of Women and Gender Constituency @COP21

Distinguished ministers and heads of delegations,

 

My name is Titilope Gbemisola Akosa and I am speaking on behalf of the Women and Gender Constituency. I stand before you today in solidarity representing the voices and aspirations of millions of women, children and the socially disadvantaged communities of the world,.

 

We are now at a crucial stage of the negotiationsWe cannot allow our leaders to gamble with our future. As women, we are here to stand strong on behalf of the people and the planet to pressure world leaders to do what it takes to tackle the climate change crisis by delivering a legally binding, just and gender-responsive agreement that will set the world on the path of resilience and sustainability.

 

As a woman living in the city of Lagos, in Nigeria I have witnessed how the ocean inches towards us and threatens to swallow up our habitats and lives. How irregular rainfall patterns threaten our food security, and floods destroy our livelihoods. All of it deepen social inequality. But we are not willing to play the victim game. These catastrophic situations have pushed us out of our comfort zone to be here, with our solutions, for an ambitious agreement in Paris.

 

 

Last week, world leaders gathered here to give their visions to the COP. Now it is time to ensure an ambitious and fair agreement. Therefore, it must ensure all climate actions, both adaptation and mitigation, respect promote, protect and fulfil human rights, gender equality, the rights of indigenous people, intergenerational equity, a just transition and decent work, food security and ecosystem integrity and resilience.

 

This can only be achieved if Parties commit to stay below 1.5° C degree of warming.  – in a manner which upholds the principles of the Convention, namely equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR).

 

The new agreement must acknowledge the loss of lives, cultures, and ecosystems that has already occurred and include a mechanism to address both financial and non-monetized Loss and Damage.

 

It must provide clearly defined, new, additional, and predictable gender-responsive public finance that is scaled up. , in the form of grants. The goal of $100 billion per year, must be a floor, not a ceiling, scaled up at least every five years, with a 50:50 balance between mitigation and adaptation, and finance for loss and damage in addition to adaptation funding.

 

Finally, we ask that you retain gender language in all the operative areas of the agreement.

This is our stand and we will not give up on our beautiful planet.

 

Thank you!

Indigenous Women’s Adaptation Solutions to Climate Change: The case of Kenya

 

A side event organized at the climate Generations Area at the Women and Gender Constituency stand on 3rd  December 2015 by MADRE New York and Indigenous Information Network

 

Indigenous Information Network Cythia Wechabe and Edna Kaptoyo and  MADRE’s Natalia Caruso shared success stories of indigenous women adaptation initiatives in adapting to climate change at community level. They shared stories on how climate change has impacted the indigenous women in Kenya, affecting their access to freshwater, food  etc and how they are choosing not to wait but respond to the changes with actions at community level that seeks to enhance access to clean energy and  freshwater. They stressed the importance of supporting indigenous women to  define their priorities and needs in tacking climate change.   It is important to support them to build leadership capacity and self organization.

MADRE 3
Cynthia Wechabe speaking at the event 

Currently, Kenya the country where the adaptation projects are been implemented   is working on an energy policy, but policy is not enough if its going to focus on mega projects on energy rather than decentralized energy system which is what is needed by indigenous women.

MADRE 4
Edna Kaptoyo sharing adaptation stories

Local government need capacity building as well to understand climate change and women issues so they can be able to have policies and actions  that reflect needs of the community.

Fatima partner of MADRE shared her experience in Sudan in organizing small scale women farmers into cooperatives to enhance their access to markets and improve value added to their products.

The gathering also provided space for other women to share stories on the different initiatives they are doing to respond to climate change. A woman climate advocate from Nigeria, Titi Akosa shared on the Indigenous rain water harvesting initiative with the Esan people of Edo state, Nigeria.

Chief Caleen from North America shared on the challenge of the dams being built in their communities and challenge it presents to community in accessing clean water. She advised that initiatives at community level should focus on cleaning the rivers to run clean again.

Participants at the side event underscored the importance  of solidarity of all women around the  globe in demanding for actions from world  leaders to address climate change at COP21.

Report By

Ms  Titilope Gbemisola Akosa

Ms Edna Kaptoyo

Nigeria’s Minister for Environment Meets with Women and Gender Constituency of the UNFCCC

The newly appointed Nigeria’s Minister for Environment, Ms Amina mohammed   who had been part of the driving force behind  the new Sustainable Development Goals met with Women and Gender Constituency of the UNFCCC on Thursday, 3rd December, 2015.

she had a fruitful discussion on strategy with women Climate Justice advocates and other women who have been actively engaged in negotiating on behalf of women and gender in the climate talks.  She encouraged the advocates  and pledged her support in ensuring gender and women concerns in the global climate agreement.

She strongly  advocated for a change in the narrative on women and gender in the  Climate talks. Though the challenge of mainstreaming gender and women issues into the global agreement is quite daunting but she is optimistic that it is not impossible.

The strategy put forward by her in ensuring a gender responsive agreement is the inclusion of young women in the discussion and unpacking of the language of the negotiations for all to understand.

In her words the task of mainstreaming gender and women issues into the global climate agreement “ appears  impossible, until we make it possible”.

It is of equal importance in advocating for gender to also advocate for a legally binding agreement that will protect the whole of humanity and planet.

watch her inetrview on youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIyoX8xy9mQ

Amina 2Amina 3

Report By

Ms Titilope Gbemisola Akosa and

Ms Edna Kaptoyo

Dutch gender and climate change event

Gender At the Heart of Climate Action 2

Paris, 2nd December, 2015

The Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs had a side event on Gender and climate change in which women gender champions in the climate change negotiations addresses challenges and opportunities for ensuring gender and women issues in the climate change agreement at COP21.

Notable and influential Women and Gender advocates like Mary Robinson, Stella Gama from Malawi delegation, Lakshmi Puri of UN Women gave insightful contributions on the importance of  linking gender responsive policy to actions on the ground and how a gender responsive climate agreement can galvanize a groundswell of climate actions.   It was acknowledged that climate change has implications for food security, educational opportunities and livelihood and it impacts  compounds the challenges already faced by women but  there is still a general misunderstanding of  how it can be  institutionalized  within the  UNFCCC.

The speakers expressed the importance of giving visibility to gender in the global agreement and how it has been difficult in terms of action on the ground.  According to Stella Gama “gender is seen as numbers but when it comes to action, then there is a challenge”

Lakshmi  Puri of UN Women stressed the importance of downscaling climate finance to the local level. All climate funding finance mechanisms needs to be grassroot oriented to ensure that women benefit more from them.

With respect to gender reference in the global climate agreement there are some fears voiced out by some male negotiators that;

  • The climate change agreement is not a gender agreement but an agreement for the whole of humanity and planet why the emphasis on gender
  • Climate change is anthropogenic and there is need to consider all the social dimensions and not only gender dimensions
  • Gender is not too important compared to all other pressing issues of ambition and finance.
  • What kind of gender equality do women want in the climate agreement?

In response to these fears the speakers said that the fact that climate change is anthropogenic makes it a social issue and that social process shakes the whole of humanity. It was a social issue that led to the sinking of the Titanic “ If we have had a woman steering the Titanic it would not have hit a iceberg which is of course melting now” Lakshmi Puri, UN Women.

Key Conclusion for gender in the negotiations

  • It is desirable to have strong gender presence in the preamble and purpose section and other thematic areas  and bring gender language back into the text where it is missing
  • Engagement of high level gender champions in the negotiations including male champions
  • Continued gender engagement and awareness at the group level
  • Continued support for Lima work Program on gender
  • A collective and influential voice on behalf of gender and women

There was a different perspective on the discussion from the point of view of the private sector. The private sector looks at it from a clear lens of effectiveness, business and growth.  There is business case to be made for gender and private sector is investing in gender because it is smart and making money. However the private sector needs a clear direction and strategy from government

In conclusion, all the delegates and other stakeholders were enjoined to advocate on behalf of gender and women in the negotiations to strengthen actions at the grassroot levels.

Ms Titilope Gbemisola Akosa- Centre for 21st century Issues

Ms Edna Kaptoyo- Indigenous Information Network

African women Gender and Climate Change @COP21

On the first day of climate change talks in Paris two important side events which advanced gender in climate change with respect to African women was held at the African Pavilion.

The two side events were held simultaneously. One was organized by the  African Working Group on gender and Climate Change. It addressed gender, climate change and sustainable developments: challenges and opportunities for post 2015 agreement.

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The event panelist came from the African Working Group on Gender and Climate Change, a working group of different actors both state and non state actors, who came together in 2013 in Addis Ababa under the auspices of Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). The objective of the event was to share issues in Africa related to gender and climate change and expectations in Paris agreement as well to deliberate on the impact of climate change and gender and development.

The intent of the working group is to strengthen the negotiators on gender and climate change and to establish women’s coping capacity, this is with a view to strengthen  African common position and to make clear narrative on gender and climate change.

One of the missing link in advancing gender in climate change in Africa  was identified as lack of gender disaggregated data which could for instance inform climate science reports, respect for human rights which includes gender equality is still weak and gender sensitive implementation framework.

As Ban Ki Moon says “climate change affects us all, but it does not affect us equally”. This resonated with the fact that most of the speakers stated that the underlying causes of climate vulnerability has not been addressed due to lack of participation of and empowerment of groups in defining climate change policy  and programs.  Climate change is about human development and sustainable development can’t be achieved unless gender and climate change issues are addressed.

The panelist stated that the Paris agreement needs to focus on supporting more research, ensuring inclusion, recognize importance of traditional knowledge, strengthen capacity and increase resources for actions at local level.

The other side event was organized by New Economic partnership for Africa(NEPAD) and NEPAD Climate fund

The need to establish an African climate fund was based on the premise that African countries have not benefited commensurately  in the different finance mechanisms that have been established due to  lack of  capacity to access the funds in terms of  knowledge of different mechanisms and different options and windows on how to access the funds. Lack of Capacity to develop programs that are bankable and the available  financing arrangement do not address the financial needs of women.

IMG_0633

It is in  recognition of these challenges  that the NEPAD climate Fund was established in 2012 . It is an African owned, African led and African administered fund African  which is tailored to the peculiar African needs.

The fund  support member states of the African Union  and NGOs in the target areas of adaptation of agriculture, Biodiversity Management, access and benefit sharing and policy co-coherence among  other things. Eleven African Countries have so far access the funds

The funds has a strong capacity building element  and it is gender responsive. The fund support Women’s adaptation in agriculture,   the value chains and contributions of women to climate solution. The fund has a gender mainstreaming guidelines that is used to evaluate all proposals. It supports women in Agric business forum where women across the continent show case what they have been doing in the agriculture value chain

One of the eminent personality at the Side event , the former President of Ghana John Kuffour stressed the need to invest in climate change economy and that NEPAD fund demonstrated practical investment in climate change.It is taking care of our people, especially the women and the most vulnerable.  He said further that African countries cannot continue to wait for climate finance from the developed world. African needs to  start mobilizing finance from within  while also leveraging on climate finance provided by developed countries.

By

Ms Titilope Gbemisola Akosa and

Ms Edna Kaptoyo

 

 

 

Women are Guardian Angels of The Climate

The first day of the COP21 climate talks was very dramatic. Right from the entrance of Le Bourget venue of COP21 climate change talks in Paris  world leaders and participants were welcomed by beautiful women dressed in angelic regalia holding key messages of peace, hope and justice for a just climate change agreement that will put the world on the pathways of resilience.

The women no doubt represents women all over the world who are craving for a climate change agreement that takes account of the needs of the most vulnerable and protect our shared humanity and planet.  The  actions of the women guardian angels resonates with  the key demands of women to the world leaders which was later unveiled at a press conference by the women and Gender Constituency (WGC) of the UNFCCC .

Women has 11 points demands which includes

  1. Governments must commit to keep warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius to prevent catastrophic climate change, in line with the principles of the Convention, namely equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR).
  2. The agreement must ensure that all climate actions, both adaptation and mitigation, respect, protect, promote and fulfil human rights, gender equality, the rights of indigenous peoples, intergenerational equity, a just transition and decent work, food security, and ecosystem integrity and resilience.20151128_163407
  3. Developed countries must do their fair share by taking the lead to close the inequitable emissions gap of current intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) and providing unconditional support to developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
  4. Governments must commit to wide-ranging ambitious and just actions pre-2020 under Workstream II.
  5. Concepts such as ‘net-zero’ or ‘carbon neutrality’ or any that encourage off-setting and unsafe technological solutions must be left out of the agreement.
  6. The long-term global goal of the agreement must articulate a sustainable pathway for urgently reducing emissions: phasing in 100% safe and sustainable renewable energy systems and wide-ranging structural and lifestyle changes – and phasing out harmful technologies and fossil fuels, in line with the principles of CBDR and equity.
  7. Adaptation approaches must be country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent.
  8. The new agreement must explicitly include a standalone section on Loss and Damage and include a mechanism to address both financial and non-monetized Loss and Damage.
  9. Technology development and transfer must be safe for people and the environment, affordable to all and gender responsive.
  10. Developed countries must provide clearly defined, new, additional, and predictable gender-responsive public finance, in the form of grants. The goal of $100 billion per year must be a floor, not a ceiling, scaled up at least every five years, with a 50:50 balance between mitigation and adaptation, and include finance for loss and damage in addition to adaptation funding.
  11. Finally, participation in decision-making under the new agreement should be inclusive and transparent, ensuring all barriers to movement and travel for developing country participants are alleviated and that civil society has access to decision-making spaces.

The women’s demands are crucial to engender real system change that can catalyze redistribution of wealth, resources and power for a sustainable and just future.

Just as world leaders and participants at the climate talks was arrested by the messages of the women climate guardian angels at Le Bouger, the voices of those who are most impacted by climate change, including women the vulnerable, the  socially disadvantaged as well as poor should also arrest the attention of world leaders in the negotiations and inspire them to commit to a gender just  climate agreement.

Women are playing their roles as mothers of the human race and  guardian of the earth and the climate. They are saying in unison that they will not give up on our beautiful planet. They will stand up and fight for the survival of the planet.

Written by

Ms Titilope Gbemisola Akosa and Ms Edna Kaptoyo

Women Climate Justice advocates COP21