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COP26 Fits Gender
Into Climate Action
…Gets Global Commitments In Glasgow

There has been new momentum from around the world to put gender at the forefront of climate action.
As countries and non-state actors set out gender and climate commitments, the Conference of Parties (COP26) has realized that women and girls are disproportionately impacted by climate change thereby making several gender commitments.
These announcements help build momentum internationally to drive implementation of the Gender Action Plan agreed at COP25, ahead of the sixty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66) in March 2022 which will focus on gender equality in the context of climate change, the environment and disaster risk reduction.
Among commitments made as far as COP, Norway announced that it is working to increase and strengthen the role and impact of women and girls in both international and national climate decision-making, including UNFCCC-processes and in national decision-making on climate policies.
Sierra Leone committed to addressing long-standing discriminatory land tenure practices which deny women access to and control of land through enacting a range of new legislation, while a Call to Action from The Rallying Cry, urged the finance community to further invest in the women business leaders and enterprises at the heart of the transformation the world needs.
The InsuResilience Centre of Excellence for Gender-smart Climate Solutions, a repository of information and knowledge-exchange platform promised to enable gender-transformative action on the ground by providing access to the latest knowledge, hands-on guidance and exciting opportunities, as well as bringing users closer to a vivid community that is re-thinking gender-inclusiveness within the context of Climate and Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance.
Rise2030, an award-winning, grass root initiative emerging from Lebanon, will be focusing on empowering women and youths as frontline change-makers by enabling them to design, create and build climate conscious-solutions amidst the country’s worst economic, humanitarian and energy crises.
A new toolkit from the 2X Collaborative (2XC) to support the finance community to make climate finance investments is intended to close gender gaps across different sectors.
There was a launch of Gender Equity Diversity Investments (GEDI) in the tune of a $100-150 million venture capital firm which currently has a 200 person network of senior figures and experts, and aims to progress investments in line with several of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Bolivia committed to promoting women and girls’ leadership, especially indigenous, Afro-Bolivian, community and rural women, through their involvement in sustainable development projects, as well as to reflect gender data in its Nationally Determined Contributions, and to work with UN Women to promote the use of gender breakdowns in official national statistics on environment and climate change.
Canada also pledged to ensure that 80% of its $5.3 billion climate investments over the next five years, target gender equality outcomes. Ecuador committed to strengthening leadership, negotiation, and decision-making capacities within women’s organizations working on climate.
Germany announced a new Gender Strategy under its International Climate Initiative (IKI) which will promote gender-transformative approaches in international climate and biodiversity cooperation while Nigeria said it will expand on its Implementation Strategy for their National Gender and Climate Action Plan.
Sweden announced new measures to firmly embed gender equality within all their climate actions, as mentioned in Sweden’s Climate Policy Action Plan and the UK in particular; set out how £165 million in funding will address the dual challenges of gender inequality and climate change.
The USA said promoting gender equity and equality in responding to climate change will be a priority of its National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality.
It said investing at least $14 million of the Gender Equity and Equality Action Fund toward gender-responsive climate programming; and investing more than $20 million towards initiatives to increase women’s economic opportunities in the clean energy sector.
The USA believes this will strengthen action on gender-based violence and the environment, address barriers to women’s land rights, and support women farmers in East Africa to adapt to climate impacts along with a full list of the Feminist Action for Climate Justice commitments in similar direction.
Meanwhile, COP26 president Alok Sharma and UK International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience Anne-Marie Trevelyan hosted the Gender Day plenary event on Tuesday accompanied by Little Amal, the 3.5 metre puppet travelling 8,000km in support of refugees.
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, was among other high profile speakers to address the event.
Other announcements included the 47 countries’ commitments to building health systems which are able to withstand the impacts of climate change and which are low carbon and sustainable.
These include 42 countries, representing over a third of global health care emissions, which have committed to develop a sustainable, low-carbon health system.
Twelve of these 42 countries have set a deadline of 2050 or earlier, by which their health system will reach net zero.
These discussions which are nearing completion for 2021 in Glasgow, the United Kingdom climaxed its ninth day discussions on Gender, Science and Innovation.
The Science and Innovation Day, initiatives was geared towards enhancing international cooperation among governments, academics, businesses and civil society and ensure science and innovation delivers for all in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Sharma said it is without doubts that women and girls are also leading efforts to tackle climate change in communities around the world, quoting that, “They are not drowning but they are fighting.”
“And we cannot allow equality to be a casualty of change,” Sharma acknowledged thereby disclosing that countries of stakeholders have announced making climate action gender responsive.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, November 9, the COP26 president said, “We must support; we must enable the full and meaningful participation of women and girls in climate action.”
Buttressing Sharma, the Head of Cut Crossing Issues at the COP, Saika Sigurdardottir, expressed that women and girls continue to face the brunt of the effects of climate change.
“Women and girls should be seen as leaders and not victims and this Gender Day was set aside as a call for action and bold new steps are needed to ensure that climate action is responsive to improve women’s leadership and meaningful participation and actions across the globe,” she stated.
She said some countries are guided by Framework such as action plan and the UN Feminist Action for Justice including other lead actions at local, national and global levels.
Sigurdardottir called on actors to link up policies and plans with finance so that climate action and Gender equality go hand in hand. Reported by C. Winnie Saywah-Jimmy.

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