Women and Gender Constituency Response to Draft Paris Outcome

 

 

11 December 2015

Click to access 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!

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