Climate governance in the regional meeting on Climate Change and Gender Equality

The session on climate governance: Experts warn that action on Climate Change can reinforce or overcome gender inequality.

Santiago, 7 September 2021. The transition to a green and decarbonised economy as the basis of efforts to tackle climate change does not automatically mean that it is fair and inclusive if it does not include a gender equality approach. This was pointed out by the experts participating in the session on "Climate governance with a gender approach: capacity building and institutional arrangements", held on Tuesday 7 September in the framework of the Regional Meeting on Climate Change and Gender Equality.

The session was attended by Lorena Aguilar, Environment and Gender Specialist of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), who made a presentation on gender equality in the response to climate change in Latin America and the Caribbean; as well as Johanna Arriagada, from the Climate Change Office of the Ministry of Environment of Chile and Jessica Huertas, from the General Directorate of Climate Change and Desertification of Peru, who presented experiences on gender mainstreaming in the climate policies of their countries. The session was moderated by Teresa Aguilar, FIIAPP Technical Specialist for the EUROCLIMA+ Programme.

"Climate change action can reinforce or exacerbate inequalities, or intentionally aim to overcome them and accelerate progress towards gender equality and women's empowerment," Aguilar said.

For the expert, as policy, physical, economic and socio-cultural structures are examined in response to climate change, long-standing gender inequalities must be identified and addressed.

For example, according to data from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), more than 80% of the new jobs created by the decarbonisation agenda will be in sectors that are currently dominated by men and only 20% of these new jobs will be created in sectors where women are in the majority.

This means that women will not benefit from job creation unless their participation in the labour market in sectors that are most relevant to decarbonisation, such as energy, agriculture, construction and waste management, is effectively addressed. Women, for example, account for 32% of people working in renewable energy, 10 points higher than in other traditional energy industries.

This should include identifying and addressing knowledge gaps in the gender and climate change nexus; strengthening the evidence base and understanding of the differentiated impacts of climate change; generating gender statistics to inform decision-making; and undertaking research on the links between gender and environmental factors, such as greenhouse gas emissions, land degradation and biodiversity loss.

As part of the session, working groups were held with government and civil society representatives from Latin American and Caribbean countries to analyse the main aspects to be considered for the inclusion of a gender equality perspective in climate governance. Some of the main conclusions gathered and presented by the moderator, Teresa Aguilar, were the importance of intersectorality with the aim of going beyond and also integrating an intergenerational and intercultural perspective, the relevance of institutionalising processes with different phases and of formally incorporating the issue of gender equality in climate change legislation in the different countries.

About the meeting

The Government of Chile, in its capacity as Presidency of COP25, is holding the Regional Meeting on Climate Change and Gender Equality during September, through its Ministries of the Environment, Foreign Affairs and Women and Gender Equality. The event has the support of the European Union, through its EUROCLIMA+ and EUROsociAL+ programmes, and the technical support of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) as key strategic partners in climate action and to connect the dots between the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. The meeting also counts on the collaboration of the United Nations System of Chile and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. 

The meeting is 100% virtual and will take place in various sessions throughout the month. The sessions will showcase experiences, best practices, challenges and opportunities to integrate gender equality in climate action in LAC and in the roadmap for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Decision-makers at national, regional and global levels, academia and civil society will participate in the event.

Live broadcasts of the sessions are open to anyone interested via the  YouTube channel of the Ministry of Environment of Chile (in Spanish) and on the YouTube channel of Euroclima+ (in English). 

More information about the meeting and the next sessions here.

About EUROCLIMA+

EUROCLIMA+ is a programme funded by the European Union to promote environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient development in 18 Latin American countries, particularly for the benefit of the most vulnerable populations. The Programme is implemented under the synergistic work of seven agencies: the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), the French Development Agency (AFD), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), Expertise France (EF), the International and Ibero-America Foundation for Administration and Public Policy (FIIAPP), and UN Environment.

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EUROCLIMA letra blanca peqEUROCLIMA+ is the European Union's flagship programme on environmental sustainability and climate change with Latin America. It aims to reduce the impact of climate change and its effects in Latin America by promoting climate change mitigation and adaptation through resilience and investment. 
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