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
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Governments must commit to wide-ranging ambitious and just actions pre-2020 under Workstream II.
- 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.
- 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.
- Adaptation approaches must be country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent.
- 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.
- Technology development and transfer must be safe for people and the environment, affordable to all and gender responsive.
- 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.
- 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.
Ms Titilope Gbemisola Akosa and Ms Edna Kaptoyo
Women Climate Justice advocates COP21