The Green Climate Fund (GCF) appears to be helping to level the playing field of climate action with the launch on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 of its first gender guide to climate finance.
GCF Executive Director Howard Bamsey and Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate Isabella Lövin (who is also the country’s Deputy Prime Minister) unveiled the gender manual during World Water Week, currently being held in Stockholm, Sweden.
“Mainstreaming Gender in Green Climate Fund Projects,” developed with UN Women, guides GCF partners on how to include women, girls, men and boys from socially excluded and vulnerable communities in all aspects of climate finance.
Minister Lövin said it is natural for Sweden, as home to the world’s first feminist government, to consider gender equality as a priority in all decision making and resource allocation.
“Gender equality is part of the solution to society’s challenges such as climate change,” she said. “It is thus of utmost importance that the GCF integrates a gender perspective into all its activities, something this manual will help to achieve.”
Mr Bamsey said the manual is a logical step stemming from the central place of gender consideration in GCF’s operations since the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) set up the Fund in 2010.
“The release of the manual comes at a key juncture as GCF ramps up its implementation of climate finance projects,” said Mr Bamsey. “It will help ensure gender consideration lies at the heart of all GCF-supported initiatives.”
Climate change is one of a range of topics being addressed at World Water Week, where more than 3,000 participants from a variety of different fields are currently gathered.
There is a clear link between water and climate change-gender issues, Oyun Sanjaasuren, Chair of Global Water Partnership (GWP), said on the sidelines of the event.
“Water and climate-related disasters are intricately linked, especially floods and droughts,” said Ms Oyun, a former Mongolian Member of Parliament who is currently President of the United Nations Environment Assembly.
“For example, women often have less access to water supply for irrigation, which in the current context of increasing droughts, constitutes a real threat to their food security,” she said.
Ms Oyun stressed climate action needs to consider gender equality as women and girls are disadvantaged in a range of areas including water and sanitation issues, food security, health and migration.
“So when it comes to climate breakdown, what is an already bad situation becomes worse for those at most risk,” she added.