Global Gender and Climate Alliance Meeting Discusses Support to Women to Mitigate and Adapt to Climate Change
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20 November 2008: A press conference on issues relating to gender and climate change was held on 20 November 2008, at UN Headquarters, New York, US, to recap a two-day meeting organized by the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA) on how women could receive financial support for their activities to mitigate or adapt to […]

20 November 2008: A press conference on issues relating to
gender and climate change was held on 20 November 2008, at UN Headquarters, New
York, US, to recap a two-day meeting organized by the Global Gender and Climate
Alliance (GGCA) on how women could receive financial support for their
activities to mitigate or adapt to climate change.

Panelists included: Aira
Kalela, Head of International Affairs at the Ministry of the Environment of
Finland; Monique Essed-Fernandes, Interim Director of the Women’s Environment
and Development Organization (WEDO); Janet Macharia, Senior Gender Adviser at
the UN Environment Programme (UNEP); and Liane Schalatek, Associate Director of
the Heinrich Böll Foundation in North America. Noting that women are
“indispensable” to addressing the impacts of climate change, Kalela emphasized
the need to recognize their role as decision makers in the negotiations on a
post-2012 climate agreement. She highlighted that Finland supports the GGCA
through awareness-raising and capacity-building activities, and indicated her
country’s commitment to the EU target of reducing emissions by 20% by 2020.
Kalela underlined the linkage between climate and poverty reduction issues and
urged advancing agreed targets for development cooperation.
Macharia explained
that the GGCA focused on capacity building and would hold its first session on
this topic in Poznan, Poland, in December 2008, to train about 20 partners in
integrating gender into climate talks. Essed-Fernandes regretted still having to explain why women “must be at
the forefront of climate change efforts,” underscoring that they were not
“victims” but “leaders to offset the negative impacts of climate change.” She
emphasized that the Alliance would look at targeted financing mechanisms and
noted the opportunity for governments and the private sector to find common
solutions during preparations for the Climate Conference in Copenhagen in
December 2009.
Schalatek called for “double mainstreaming” for equitable
development, which incorporates gender and financing issues and emphasizes the
high costs of mitigation and adaptation. On climate financing, she noted that
environmental financial mechanisms, such as the Clean Development Mechanism,
have had limited benefits for least developed countries and women due to their
lack of capital and market access. The GGCA was created by the UN Development
Programme (UNDP), UNEP, IUCN and WEDO, and aims to ensure that climate change
policies, decision making, and initiatives at the global, regional and national
levels are gender responsive.
The Alliance was formally launched at the UNFCCC
Conference in Bali in December 2007 and gathers representatives from
non-governmental organizations, civil society, international organizations and
governments. [UN
Press Release
]

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