We can solve climate change – if we involve women

women.jpeg

(Katherine Hanlon, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Vaishali Sinha, Chief Communication & Sustainability Officer, ReNew Power


With the 2030 deadline for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals approaching, the fight against climate change intensifies each year, with governments pumping resources into achieving them.

One of the most critical SDGs is SDG 5, achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, because it will have positive cascading effects on the achievement of the other SDGs, including quality education, poverty alleviation, clean energy, reduced inequalities, good health and wellbeing, zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, decent work and economic growth and most importantly, climate action.

SDG5 is central to achieving all SDGs.
Image: UN Women/GenUrb

We are already seeing some of the devastating effects of climate change, with increasing floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters. Women are the most vulnerable in these situations, facing the maximum risk due to their socio-economic status. With 70% living in poverty, women are disproportionately affected by extreme weather events, loss of agricultural productivity, destruction of life and property and so on, all of which stem from the climate crisis.

Women also have the knowledge and understanding of what is needed to adapt to changing environmental circumstances in order to determine practical solutions. But women remain a largely untapped resource due to existing biases, including restricted land rights, lack of access to training, technology and financial resources, and limited access to political decision making due to under representation. For practical and effective climate change mitigation, we must unleash the knowledge and capability of women.

To find sustainable solutions, it is critical to recognize the important contributions of women as decision makers, caretakers, stakeholders, experts and educators across all sectors. Greta Thunberg, Christina Figueres and Franny Armstrong, to name a few, are already leading the way in not only climate change advocacy but also in crafting sustainable, long-term solutions.

What is the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact summit?

It’s an annual meeting featuring top examples of public-private cooperation and Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies being used to develop the sustainable development agenda.

It runs alongside the United Nations General Assembly, which this year features a one-day climate summit. This is timely given rising public fears – and citizen action – over weather conditions, pollution, ocean health and dwindling wildlife. It also reflects the understanding of the growing business case for action.

The UN’s Strategic Development Goals and the Paris Agreement provide the architecture for resolving many of these challenges. But to achieve this, we need to change the patterns of production, operation and consumption.

The World Economic Forum’s work is key, with the summit offering the opportunity to debate, discuss and engage on these issues at a global policy level.

According to McKinsey, in a “full potential” scenario in which women play an identical role in labour markets to men, as much as $28 trillion, or 26%, could be added to global annual GDP by 2025. This is more than enough to bridge the climate finance gap needed to fund the battle against climate change, which stands at €530 billion ($585 billion) per year by 2020 and €810 billion ($894 billion) by 2030. Just increasing the participation of women in the labour force will sufficiently increase the world’s GDP for financing sustainable development.

One of the most potent tools for increasing the effectiveness of women in climate change mitigation is renewable energy, which can help transform the lives of women by improving their health, providing them with better livelihood prospects, improving their education opportunities and more. In fact, it offers women many entrepreneurial avenues for further deployment of renewable energy, which in turn mitigates carbon emissions.

And rural women will be the primary beneficiaries. Looking at examples such as Solar Sister in Africa, renewable energy increases women’s relevance in society, shields them from harmful health effects of indoor pollution (through burning of biomass) and makes them agents of climate change mitigation through their involvement in renewable energy deployment.

The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2013 found “a nation’s competitiveness in the long term depends significantly on whether and how it educates and utilizes its women” and whether they have “the same rights, responsibilities and opportunities as men.”

Women bring more empathy and inclusiveness in their advocacy and problem-solving, which enhances their efficacy as sustainability leaders. Whether it’s tribal women in Udaipur, Rajasthan, becoming green entrepreneurs, or Barefoot College in Rajasthan creating female solar engineers, or women-led self-help groups in Trichy, Tamil Nadu, mobilizing funds for water and sanitation (important components of sustainability), there are examples of women everywhere leading the way to a sustainable future.

As elucidated by a position paper by UN Women in 2015, “women’s empowerment and gender equality have a catalytic effect on the achievement of human development, good governance, sustained peace, and harmonious dynamics between the environment and human populations”.

What is the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact summit?

It’s an annual meeting featuring top examples of public-private cooperation and Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies being used to develop the sustainable development agenda.

It runs alongside the United Nations General Assembly, which this year features a one-day climate summit. This is timely given rising public fears – and citizen action – over weather conditions, pollution, ocean health and dwindling wildlife. It also reflects the understanding of the growing business case for action.

The UN’s Strategic Development Goals and the Paris Agreement provide the architecture for resolving many of these challenges. But to achieve this, we need to change the patterns of production, operation and consumption.

The World Economic Forum’s work is key, with the summit offering the opportunity to debate, discuss and engage on these issues at a global policy level.

At the national and sub-national level, effective policies, projects and programmes for gender equality must be crafted to ensure equal space and resources for women and men to participate in climate change decision making. There must be investments in multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoral and participatory Climate Change Gender Action Plans to integrate gender-related concerns and build on the capabilities, unique knowledge and perspectives of women, to not only build their climate resilience but also make them active agents of mitigation. Climate finance should be made available to men and to women to share the mutual benefits, rather than exacerbating existing inequities.

The endeavour to protect the Earth and survive in the Anthropocene stage requires a collective effort, which, as the Agenda 2030 motto says, cannot “leave anyone behind”. Gender equality is a prerequisite, and the new world order must include women leading the way, capitalizing on their caregiving, educating and nurturing selves. As Neri Oxman said: “It demands of us for the first time, that we mother, nature.”

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Trump’s Syrian hit the softest option vis-a-vis Russia

Crimean crisis: not enough to slow down European indices

The Chinese solar panels suddenly became too cheap for Europe

Main results of Foreign Affairs EU Council, 16/07/2018

The EU seals CETA but plans to re-baptise TTIP after missing the 2016 deadline

EU integration: MEPs want to end permanent opt-outs from EU law

UN rights chief ‘appalled’ by US border detention conditions, says holding migrant children may violate international law

Consultant in Forensic Technology – 1969

EU summit: No energy against tax evasion and fraud

How our food system is eating away at nature, and our future

Peace operations benefit from improved cooperation between the UN and troop-providing countries, says peacekeeping chief

Memoirs from a unique trip to China: “my new old dragon” (Part II)

UN and African Union in ‘common battle’ for development and climate change financing

The Bavarians threaten Berlin and Brussels with immigration crisis

EU Commission announces Safe Harbour 2.0 and a wider Data protection reform

Praising Roma’s contributions in Europe, UN expert urges end to rising intolerance and hate speech

Brexit: MEPs concerned over reported UK registration plans for EU27 citizens

This Chinese megacity is building a giant waste-to-energy plant

Here’s how we reboot digital trade for the 21st century

Syria: Civilians caught in crossfire, UN refugee chief urges Jordan to open its border

Children who exercise have more brain power, finds study

A Europe that protects: Continued efforts needed on security priorities

UN rights chief calls for release of hundreds abducted and abused in South Sudan

‘Let the children live’: UN prepares to ramp up food aid to Yemen as famine risk grows

FEATURE: Niger’s girls find sanctuary in fistula treatment centres

IMF’s Lagarde: Ukraine must fight corruption

European Commission recommends common EU approach to the security of 5G networks

Help prevent children ‘from becoming victims in the first place’, implores Guterres at campaign launch

COP21 Business update: Companies urge now for carbon pricing as coal is still a big issue

The Japanese have a word to help them be less wasteful – ‘mottainai’

6 facts to know about EU alternative investment funds

Why do US presidential elections last so long? And 4 other things you need to know

It will take a lot more than free menstrual pads to end period poverty

Who should be responsible for protecting our personal data?

WHO study reveals ‘game-changer’ drug with potential to save thousands of women’s lives in childbirth

UN chief condemns student abductions in north-west Cameroon

The Commission unsuccessfully pretends to want curbing of tax evasion

To win combat against HIV worldwide, ‘knowledge is power’, says UNAIDS report

A new European banking space is born this year

Caspian Sea deal an invaluable step towards easing regional tensions, says UN Chief

EU budget deal struck with Parliament negotiators

Three ideas for leaders to be more successful in the 21st century

‘All efforts must be made’ to ensure peaceful elections for Guinea-Bissau, Security Council hears

Young people all over the world come together to demand paid good quality internships

Banks suffocate the real economy by denying loans

For how long will terror and economic stagnation be clouding the European skies?

UN chief praises Japanese climate resilience, as Typhoon Hagibis cleanup begins

Why Eurozone needs a bit more inflation

Don’t understand the US-China trade war? This metaphor could help

India-UN fund gets 22 development projects off the ground in first year

China’s New Normal and Its Relevance to the EU

Here are 3 alternative visions for the future of work

Millions at risk if Syria’s war moves to last redoubt of Idlib, warns senior aid official

Commission to decide on bank resolution issues

The European Sting writes down the history LIVE from G20 Leaders’ Summit in Turkey

Breaking barriers between youth in the new tech era: is there an easy way through?

Why strive for Industry 4.0

UN health experts warn ‘dramatic resurgence’ of measles continues to threaten the European region

Russia to cut gas supplies again: can the EU get back to growth without a solid energy market?

Keep Africa’s guns ‘from firing in the first place’, UN political chief urges

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s