“ Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. ”
Documenting a Pakistani Girl’s Transformation
The story of how Malala Yousafzai went from being a quiet 11-year-old to a spokeswoman for girls’ education to a victim of the Taliban to a Nobel Prize candidate.
In an ideal world, what would you ask at the UN meetings to happen in terms of mitigation and adaptation, if you could implement absolutely anything?
You’re referring to the annual UN Framework Convention on Climate Change “Conference of the Parties.” This year will mark the 19th COP, this one to be held in Poland in November. If I recall, the “Parties” comprise of 192 countries (of the world’s 194), and each voluntarily signed on to meet every year to discuss solutions to climate change impacts.
So, at these COP meetings, countries negotiate what to do about climate change. The Kyoto Protocol - a voluntary treaty to lower emissions - is one example of a collective solution.
I think at the COP19, the “Parties” will vote to either continue or alter the Kyoto Protocol.
Ideally I’d like for decision at future COPs to be legally enforceable. As it stands, decisions and actions are voluntary. If a country pledges to lower emissions or invest in adaptation projects, they have no actual, legally enforceable obligation to carry out their promises.
This happens all the time. For example, at the COP15 held in Copenhagen in 2009, countries agreed to a laundry list of provisions, called the Copenhagen Accord. One major pledge was for countries to donate $100 billion USD per year to the Adaptation Fund, which would help poor countries with natural disaster planning.
It didn’t happen.
So, a legally enforceable mechanism would be a significant improvement over volunteering. Penalties, enforcement, and the governing body of law would be hashed out by the parties.
The second thing is a greater focus on the climate impacts on the disadvantaged, such as children, women, and the elderly. The UNFCCC COP has a group dedicated to resolving gender and health issues, but this group is weak, underfunded, and sort of an add-on.
So, this needs to be flipped around - gender and health issues should be at the center of the COP, and the rest of the negotiations aim to support and resolve those issues.
A window into the work I do for USAID.
Four of the National Missions under India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change focus on climate change adaptation in the areas of agriculture, water resources, forests and the Himalayan eco-system. Successful adaptation to climate change, however, requires recognition of poor women as critical partners in both driving and delivering solutions because women often constitute a majority of the work force in these sectors.
This pilot research documented some of the gender-differentiated climate change impacts and adaptation interventions. It also examined scientific evidence and women’s perceptions on how key climate parameters like rainfall, temperature and wind patterns are changing and how this is affecting their agriculture-related livelihoods. The research suggests specific gender-responsive policy and practice recommendations for the implementation of the four adaptation-focused National Missions.
Okay, I'm reading the Schalatek_Burns_GCF_Gender-Sensitive-Approach pdf and I'm still wondering how climate change is gender specfic. the '1% of the world property' is bugging me, and the rest of the report is reminding me of the 'women are more negatively affected by war/conscription than men are'.
Good question regarding this post on gender and climate change. At minimum, natural disasters kill more women and girls than men. Social status and education are key issues to resolve in poor countries that are growing fast.
Start with this short report, Gender and Climate Change, from WHO.
Globally, natural disasters such as droughts, floods and storms kill more women than men, and tend to kill women at a younger age. These effects also interact with the nature of the event and social status.
The gender-gap effects on life expectancy tend to be greater in more severe disasters, and in places where the socioeconomic status of women is particularly low.
Other climate-sensitive health impacts, such as undernutrition and malaria, also show important gender differences.
Gender differences occur in health risks that are directly associated with meteorological hazards. These differences reflect a combined effect of physiological, behavioural and socially constructed influences. For example, the majority of European studies have shown that women are more at risk, in both relative and absolute terms, of dying in heatwaves.
Two forces (markets and applied sustainability theory) are at odds with each other. Especially when it comes to human rights and equality. The Green Climate Fund is, in a sense, a bank that works in very poor, and developing countries. These countries are growing, fast. And organizations like the UN are helping these countries build better cities and safer communities, with the goal for everyone to become healthier and well educated. There are controversies with this type of development. Often times, tens of thousands of people are displaced from their homes, species and ecosystems are destroyed, and only a handful of companies benefit.
The Green Climate Fund helps developing countries to be more environmentally conscious, more aware of impacts of fast growth. There are many complicated elements to financing growth, and one is gender. Here is a discussion on how the Green Climate Fund can improve the banking rules for women in developing countries.
Climate change is not gender-neutral. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has highlighted the variations in the extent to which people are affected by climate change, and are able to adapt, depending on a number of factors, including gender. In most countries there are differences in the economic activities, access to resources and decision-making power of men and women. These gender differences affect the ways people are impacted by, and respond to, climate change.
Recognizing the importance of taking these gender differences into account, the Governing Instrument for the Green Climate Fund (GCF)specifically calls for taking a “gender-sensitive approach,” making this the first climate fund to mandate the integration of gender-based perspectives from the outset of its operations.
Climate financing approaches will be more effective and provide broader benefits if they address rather than reinforce gender inequalities that increase the vulnerability of women to climate change and adversely affect their ability to contribute to mitigation and adaptation efforts.
Women still face unequal access to political power, economic resources, legal rights, land ownership, bank credit, and technical training.
The GCF can promote gender equality by establishing structures and operating procedures that are careful to include women as well as men in decision-making roles, respond to the particular needs of women for climate-related financing, and enable women’s enterprises to benefit from new low-carbon technologies and economic opportunities.
The paper advocates for the explicit inclusion of gender considerations in the GCF Board’s work plan. The GCF is expected to support a fundamental paradigm shift in addressing climate change by establishing new best practices, including in its approach to gender.
To ensure a gender-sensitive approach to climate finance, women’s particular vulnerabilities must be recognized and women included in the planning, experts said during a Twitter chat with the Global Gender and Climate Alliance.
With the global community investing billions of dollars to fund a response to climate change, the alliance said it is essential to ensure these funds promote policies and programs that reduce inequality between men and women so they are able to address climate change effectively and on an even footing.
The chat addressed why gender-sensitive climate change matters, who benefits and why it is important now. Participants questioned what could be done to ensure climate funding is inclusive and fair to all.
Cynthia Rosenzweig Named One of 2012′s Most Influential Scientists
Best College Reviews has compiled a list of the most influential scientists of 2012, and UCCRN’s own Cynthia Rosenzweig has made the list! Scientists were chosen from the fields of Climate Change, Biology, Statistics and Engineering, to name a few. Other scientists chosen include Nate Silver, Adam Steltzner and James Cameron.
See the entire list here: The Most Influential Scientists of 2012
Rosenzweig is a great communicator of climate science, especially impacts on coastal cities. You should get to know her work.