The 2015 climate agreement must

recognise it: Women are key

actors in climate solutions

Women must have a seat

at the climate table

a daily


magazine on

climate change

and sustainable



8 December 2015

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pic: Asian Development Bank; Commercial Agriculture Development Project in Nepal


1 The 2015 climate agreement must recognise it: Women are key

actors in climate solutions

2 Women must have a seat at the climate table

3 The Green Climate Fund and gender: How to get from innovative

mandate to meaningful implementation?


4 Cultural conceptions of gender roles: The need for a differentiated

approach to resilience

5 Gender and the development of Cambodia’s National REDD+ Strategy

6 Two innovations to raise the bar for gender in climate financing


7 Transforming multinational climate finance

8 The unheard stories of unbeaten spirit from the coast of Bangladesh:

Does COP21 hear us?

9 Side events calendar

10 Reflections from COP21, Monday 7 December


pic: Asian Development Bank; Commercial Agriculture Development Project in Nepal


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Outreach is a multi-stakeholder publication on

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Amy Cutter

Assistant Editor Jack Nicholls

Print Designer Faye Arrowsmith www.flogo-design.co.uk

Web Designer Tom Harrisson


Delux Chhun

Jeannette Gurung

Bharadwaj Kummamuru

Pheakkdey Nguon

Sarah Opitz-Stapleton

David Robinson and Benito Müller

Mary Robinson

Liane Schalatek

Shaila Shahid

Forestry Administration, Cambodia


World Bioenergy Association

Royal University of Phnom Penh


Oxford Climate Policy

Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice

Heinrich Boell Stiftung

Gender and Water Alliance-Bangladesh


The Climate Group

UN Women

The 2015 climate agreement must

recognise it: Women are key actors in

climate solutions

UN Women

Parties to the UN Framework Convention

on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have already

recognised the importance of the

inclusion of women’s voices for policies

to be gender-responsive in more than 50

decisions they have adopted.

These decisions cover mitigation, adaptation, loss and

damage, REDD+, finance, technology development and

transfer, capacity building, among others. The inclusion of

gender and climate in the COP agenda as well as the adoption

of the Lima Work Programme on Gender are bold recognition

of the need to address women’s differential needs and their

agency in climate responses and action.

In the remaining days of the climate negotiations, Ministers

and other negotiators must seize this unique opportunity to

affirm that gender equality, women’s empowerment and their

full and equal participation are crucial and indispensable to

transformational climate response and action. This will also

ensure coherence with, build on and reflect the outcomes of

the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development

and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including

the sustainable development goals (SDGs) – outcomes which

strongly commit to achieve gender equality and empower all

women and girls, including through increased investments to

close the gender gap.

Women’s agency in climate action is key for ‘healing and

securing our planet’, as the 2030 Agenda puts it, so that it

can support the needs of the present and future generations.

Indeed, women have been – and continue to be – at the

frontline of climate response and are leading in innovative

climate actions.

Women’s participation in forest management in India brought

a corresponding fall in illicit grazing and illicit felling, with

significantly increased reforestation and regeneration of forest

goods, enhancing forest carbon stocks. Rural Women ‘Light up

Africa’, a partnership between UN Women and the Barefoot

College, enables women in villages in developing countries to

learn to become solar engineers, and to install and maintain

solar equipment for their communities. Beyond introducing a

renewable and sustainable source of energy, the programme’s

benefits for women and girls include increased community

status, better health, education and improved livelihood options.

Women have also taken the lead in integrating ideas of

personal responsibility into lifestyle and behavioural changes,

expressed in part by consumer choices that aim to benefit

the environment. The 1 Million Women initiative, a coalition

of women in Australia, was launched to tap women’s role

as decision-makers in the use, production, distribution and

disposal of goods in their households.

pic: UN Women/Gaganjit Singh; Gertrude from Malawi tests one of her solar lights

These are just a few examples of women’s actions and

initiatives to address climate change impacts.

Today, 8th December 2015, Gender Day, we will see many more

examples of women’s leadership for change. UN Women will

launch two global programmes – ‘Women’s Sustainable Energy

Entrepreneurship and Access’ and ‘Women’s Empowerment

through Climate-resilient Agriculture’. These programmes are

climate responses that also contribute to achieving the SDGs

on poverty eradication, healthy lives and well-being, gender

equality and the empowerment of women and girls, reduction

of inequalities, sustainable consumption and production,

access to modern energy for all and sustainable livelihoods,

among others.

UN Women will also share the recommendations from an

Expert Group Meeting that serve as a tool for Parties and

relevant UN agencies and stakeholders in the implementation

of gender-responsive technology needs assessment (TNAs)

and operationalisation of the gender-related mandates of the

Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Also on this day, the UNFCCC’s Momentum for Change

initiative will recognise outstanding women-led initiatives

demonstrating women’s leadership in climate responses. A

host of events during the day will showcase various initiatives,

including from grassroots and indigenous communities.

With these concrete demonstrations of women’s agency – both

in the UNFCCC process and in concrete climate actions from

the local to the global level, it is time for the 2015 climate

agreement to recognise the imperative of gender-responsive

climate actions and women’s contributions to advancing the

goals of the UNFCCC.

The Paris agreement should provide a strong mandate for

gender-responsive climate action in mitigation, adaptation,

finance, technology-development and transfer and capacity

building. Such a step will give further impetus to women’s

leadership and the solutions necessary for enabling change.


Women must have a seat at the

climate table

Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice

Gender Day at COP21 provides an

opportunity to reflect on the need for

gender equality to inform the actions

catalysed by the United Nations Framework

Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).


Women account for 50 per cent of the world’s population but

we do not have half of the decision-making power – not in any

field, including in the design, planning and implementation of

climate policy and action.

If we are to achieve gender equality we must enable women’s

meaningful participation in all aspects of climate decisionmaking.

Participation is a human right, without which

the range of rights set out in the Universal Declaration of

Human Rights cannot be enjoyed. The right to participation

is enshrined in the Rio Declaration on Environment and

Development, in the International Covenant on Civil and

Political Rights and Article 6 of the United Nations Framework

Convention on Climate Change.

The climate agreement we are working on here in Paris must

speak to people around the world because they will implement

the actions needed to realise the agreement. Capturing gender

equality and human rights in both the preamble and operative

sections of the agreement to be reached in Paris this week

would be a comprehensive step towards the realisation of

a people-centred response to climate change. After all, the

agreement is part of the transformation signalled by the

recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

If we are to deliver gender responsive climate action then we

must enable women’s meaningful participation in climate

action. This requires investment in training, capacity building

and financial support. Ensuring that women’s voices are heard

and their priorities supported is central to realising climate

justice. Only if women are enabled to participate as equals

in the design of climate policy – so that their needs are

considered and reflected in these policies – will we succeed.

This is why gender equality and human rights have to be at the

heart of the Paris climate agreement.

It is important to note that across the globe, women play an

essential role in tackling the climate change challenge. Too

often women are categorised as vulnerable or victims with

little acknowledgement that they can and already are offering

solutions. Women bring knowledge and experience to the table

in many areas, inlcuding, agriculture, food security, livelihoods

and income generation, that can realise successful adaptation

and low carbon development.

There has been progress in relation to gender equality within

the UNFCCC. Over the last three years we have seen two COP

decisions related to gender equality. In 2012, we left Doha

having secured the ‘Doha Miracle’ – Decision 23/CP.18 on

women’s representation and gender balance. Then last year

at COP20, the Lima Work Programme on Gender was adopted

pic: A. Tall (CCAFS); Progressive women farmers from the village of Amtrar, in Northern

India, participate in the Research Project on India’s Agro-Meteorological Advisory System

in Decision 18/CP.20. Both decisions seek to increase the

participation of women in climate action. It is evident from the

UNFCCC Secretariat’s 2015 Report on Gender Composition

that we still have a lot of work to do to reach the 50:50 gender

balance the Doha decision envisages. Aside from the Executive

Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss

and Damage, representation of women in constituted bodies

established under the Convention hasn’t increased since 2014.

In fact, in the case of 5 out of 12 committees the number of

women has decreased in the last year.

While the composition of party delegations reached 41 per cent

for some sessions of the governing bodies, the percentage of

female heads of delegation is far below this – ranging from 26

per cent to 33 per cent. Unfortunately, there was no increase

in the number of women party delegates between COP19

and COP 20. So while we are seeing some modest gains in

women’s participation in delegations this is not translating to

increases in women’s representation at the senior level and

in the key decision making bodies of the Convention. It is

morally unacceptable that in 2015, 20 years after the Beijing

Declaration and Platform for Action, that women are not taking

their place at the decision-making table as equals. We can and

must do better.

Key to achieving the ‘Doha Miracle’ and the Lima Work

Programme on Gender was the supportive environment

created amongst women leaders determined to succeed. This

enabled a coalition of strong women from government and

civil society to take collective action and create momentum for

positive change.

We have a broad movement of people around the world making

the case for a people-centred climate agreement that builds on

the progress we have made in integrating gender equality and

human rights into climate action in recent years. Let’s make

sure our voices are heard in the final week of negotiations and

that those of us with a seat at the table amplify the voices

of women around the world who are struggling to have their

voices heard.


Mary Robinson is President of the Mary Robinson Foundation

– Climate Justice. She is a former President of Ireland and a

former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Green Climate Fund and gender:

How to get from innovative mandate to

meaningful implementation?

Liane Schalatek

Heinrich Boell Stiftung

How to get from an innovative mandate

to meaningful implementation? This is

the challenge that the new Green

Climate Fund (GCF) with USD 10.2

billion promised in initial resources

is facing with respect to gender.

Tasked to take a “gender-sensitive approach” in its founding

charter, it has become the first multilateral climate fund with

a gender policy and a gender action plan in place even before

the GCF approved its first eight projects with USD 168 million

in funding just weeks ahead of the Paris COP21. The challenge

fits very well with, and is inseparable from, its ambition to be

a transformational fund in support of a paradigm shift toward

low-emission and climate-resilient sustainable development.

Without gender equality and women’s empowerment as key

outcomes of any GCF funding action, such transformative

change will remain elusive.

participation of women as key stakeholders in recipient

countries through all stages of the project cycle, from project

design through implementation, has to be strengthened.

This means bringing women as equal partners into country

processes to determine national funding priorities. This also

means involving women’s organisations in participatory

monitoring, so that they can help select appropriate project

indicators and raise ‘red flags’ early when things go awry.

It requires that the GCF set new international best-practice

standards on information disclosure. And it means recognising

and strengthening the capacities and potential of women’s

groups to implement projects on the ground, in cooperation

with GCF accredited entities.

A gender mainstreaming approach actually has been anchored

in the Fund’s objectives and guiding principles since 2012,

when a Transitional Committee designed the basic shape

and functions of the GCF. Over their past 11 meetings, the

24 member GCF Board – composed of equal numbers of

developed and developing country representatives – has made

good progress in translating the objectives into key operational

policies. When applied stringently and coherently, these will

push the GCF ‘beyond business as usual’ by forcing the Fund

to think climate projects and programmes differently.

Take, for example, the GCF accreditation process. It makes

it a requirement for any entity that wants to implement GCF

funding to have a developed gender policy of its own. National

entities in need of some help can request readiness and

preparatory support through the GCF Secretariat. This sends

a clear message that gender considerations are to be part

and parcel of GCF-funded action – even for big international

partners such as the Deutsche Bank, a commercial banking

giant, whose accreditation to the Fund in July 2015 came with

the condition to develop its own gender policy before it can use

GCF funding. This also has a signaling function to the wider

global financial sector.

In the GCF, gender considerations are integrated in some

of the investment criteria used to select GCF projects and

programmes, and the GCF will judge its lasting impact with a

view to the gender equality outcomes of its whole portfolio. The

GCF has already promised it will spend as much on mitigation

as on adaptation, and will reserve a quarter of its spending

for the poorest countries – a decision with a clear gender

outcome, as women in those countries are disproportionately

affected by severe climate change impacts.

While this is all positive, more is needed to ensure gendersensitive

implementation. Most importantly, the meaningful

pic: © WFP/Rein Skullerud

Lastly, it requires thinking innovatively and boldly about ways

that will allow women’s groups and communities easier direct

access to GCF funding. One way could be facilitating the

access of women entrepreneurs to green credit lines. These

could include small, patient, highly concessional loans via

domestic banks that receive GCF concessional funding or GCF

risk guarantees via a new GCF pilot program for micro-, smalland

medium-sized enterprises – market segments where

women entrepreneurs in developing countries are often most

active. This is the kind of scaling up that will make the GCF

truly gender-transformational.


Liane Schalatek is the Associate Director of the Heinrich Boell

Stiftung North America, where she works on climate finance,

especially on the GCF and gender and climate finance issues.


Cultural conceptions of gender roles:

The need for a differentiated approach

to resilience

Sarah Opitz-Stapleton


Access to education, healthcare, financial

resources, information, and reliable and

clean food and water supplies are some

factors widely known to influence an

individual’s vulnerability or resilience

to weather hazards and climate change.

It is not controversial to say that climate impacts are inherently

local. However, other inequalities among women, such as their

age, as well as their own perceptions of gender roles and

physical capacity, play a very important yet under-emphasised

part in climate adaptation and resilience.

A study of the gendered impacts of weather hazards on

women, girls, and boys in two counties in Yunnan Province,

China, revealed that cultural conceptions of appropriate

gender roles varied among surveyed ethnic groups. These

differences matter in terms of women’s and girl’s capacities

and opportunities for dealing with weather hazards, and

ultimately climate change.

Local economies in Yunnan are changing rapidly. Many younger

women of the dominant ethnic groups – Han, Hani, Miao and

Zhuang – are migrating to neighbouring provinces for jobs,

along with men of all ages, instead of working as farmers. It

is predominantly older women, of 35 years or more, who stay

behind as smallholder farmers or farmers on cooperatives.

Older Hani women, by contrast, had greater financial

independence than women from the other ethnic groups. Many

older Hani women do migrate for work on a short-term basis

and are able to control the money they earn. They use this

to purchase their own cell phones and often motorbikes, and

were more informed of weather early warnings and able to

take action.

Girls from the Hani and Miao ethnic groups tended to drop out

of school early (before age 16) to migrate for work. They face

the additional pressure of having to be married before they can

migrate, putting them at risk for serious health complications

if they have children at such a young age. Zhuang girls,

meanwhile, are being encouraged to stay in school longer so

that they can take on more skilled and better paying jobs than

factory positions.

Differences in education and access to information about

weather hazards exist among children as well. Miao children

in some parts of Yunnan have lower access to TV or other

sources of information to find out about weather hazards or

what to do. This is of particular concern as there are quite a

few households where both parents have migrated for work,

and so the children raise themselves.

The challenges women, girls, and boys face in dealing with

today’s weather hazards offer important insights into their

abilities to be resilient to future climate, socioeconomic, and

cultural change. Cultural differences in gender roles strongly

influence the skills and capacities of women and girls in

different ethnic groups.

Lumping all women together in standardised ‘gender-friendly’

adaptation initiatives runs the risk of ignoring the very real

differences between groups of women in acting as agents

of change. Socioeconomic inequalities among women are

perpetrated along age, cultural conceptions of appropriate

gender roles, and physical capacity. Adaptation programmes

and policies put forth by the government and community

groups must acknowledge cultural differences in gender roles,

to prevent some women being left behind.


pic: Eloise Phipps/CIMMYT; Farmer Yang Qiong, of the village of

Songshuwa, Yunnan Province in China, seeks drought tolerant maize

Among these older women, their skills and capacities for

dealing with weather hazards vary. While all of the older

women surveyed were illiterate, women from the Miao and

Hani ethnic groups were less likely to be able to access social

services and support before and after hazards than Zhuang

women. This is because of cultural traditions in which women

moved to their husband’s village and often lost ‘hukou’, legal

registration granting access to services in one’s birth area.


Sarah Opitz-Stapleton is a Senior Scientist and Head of

Climate Resilience with the INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE Group.

She specialises in the intersection of climate services,

socioeconomic vulnerability, and climate risk, particularly in

the Asia-Pacific.


The INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE group is a leader in developing new

approaches across science, policy and practice to support

decision makers and communities in building resilience. For

more information about the cultural and age differences in

gendered impacts of weather hazards and climate change in

Yunnan, you can download the full report here.

Gender and the development of

Cambodia’s National REDD+ Strategy

Pheakkdey Nguon

Royal University of Phnom Penh

Delux Chhun

Forestry Administration, Cambodia

The Royal Government of Cambodia is

launching its National REDD+ Strategy

(NRS) at COP21 in Paris, France.

The NRS has identified concrete policies and measures

necessary to generate results in terms of reducing emissions

or enhancing removals of greenhouse gases, as well as the

costs of implementing the identified policies and measures.

The process to develop the NRS officially commenced at the

fourth meeting of the national REDD+ Taskforce organised

in March 2014. Given that the NRS would be applicable for

the entire nation of Cambodia, the REDD+ Taskforce decided

that it was essential that all relevant stakeholders were given

sufficient opportunity to review and provide their comments on

the NRS working drafts. The goal was to ensure that their views

would be adequately incorporated into the final version of the

NRS and, most importantly, to foster their active participation

in the NRS implementation.

In total, five working drafts were produced before the NRS

was finalised. The initial draft was produced on January 2015.

Following the decision from the REDD+ Taskforce, a series

of consultations with more than 1,000 stakeholders were

organised from January to November 2015. These stakeholders

included representatives of local communities, Indigenous

Peoples, women groups, academic institutions, development

partners, government and non-government authorities at local,

provincial and national level and the private sector. In this

article, we reflect on the experience of women’s participation

in the NRS development by examining the roles of the REDD+

Gender Group. The objective here is to comment on the extent

to which gender related concerns have been integrated into

Cambodia’s NRS.

Cambodia is one of the very few countries where a REDD+

Gender Group was officially established by the REDD+

Taskforce so as to: 1) build awareness on gender equality

and women’s empowerment for relevant government and nongovernment

stakeholders; 2) advise on gender in components

of the NRS and subsequent implementation guidelines as

they are prepared; and 3) monitor and evaluate REDD+

implementation to ensure that gender issues are incorporated

and appropriately addressed. The Group was established

in early 2014. Its members are delegates from the Ministry

of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ministry of Women’s

Affairs, and Ministry of Environment.

Development of a NRS is both a process and product. The

Gender Group to a significant extent had impacts on both

aspects. In terms of process, the Group initially developed

a REDD+ checklist for the proposed skeleton of the NRS to

ensure that issues related to gender equality and women’s

empowerment are promoted and addressed in the NRS various

working drafts. When each NRS working draft was produced,

the Group organised meetings among its members to discuss

the NRS content. With logistical support from the Cambodia

REDD+ Taskforce Secretariat, the Group’s comments on each

of the working drafts were prepared and communicated to the

pic: Staffan Scherz

NRS drafting team, who in turn provided responses. Detailed

accounts of these interactions were documented in the NRS

Background Document.

In terms of the final NRS document, comments from the

Gender Group had been incorporated in various sections. First,

strategic analysis of the NRS included relevant insights from

the Policy and Strategic Framework on Gender Mainstreaming

in Agricultural Sector; the Gender and Climate Change Action

Plan, and the Neary Ratanak Strategic Plan. Second, one of

the main principles that will guide the NRS’s monitoring and

evaluation framework is the extent to which issues related

to gender equality, gender-sensitive performance in climate

change mitigation actions and gender mainstreaming in

climate change responses, particularly in the forestry sector,

are addressed. Third and most importantly, the vision, mission

and goals of the NRS were formulated based on the analysis

of institutional capacity, experience of forest management,

and gender-responsive strategies to address the drivers of

deforestation and forest degradation.

In short, the Cambodia’s NRS as a document that truly

embodies the notions of gender equality and women’s

empowerment. The challenge however will be to ensure that

these notions are implemented.


Pheakkdey Nguon is a lecturer at the Department of

International Studies, Royal University of Phnom Penh

Delux Chhun is Head of the Office of Forest Carbon Credits

and Climate Change, Forestry Administration, Cambodia


Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest

Degradation (REDD) is an effort to create a financial value for

the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing

countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest

in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. REDD+ goes

beyond deforestation and forest degradation, and includes the

role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and

enhancement of forest carbon stocks.


Two innovations to raise the bar for gender

in climate financing

Jeannette Gurung


Women’s agency and leadership play a

critical and often unrecognised role

in climate responses.


This is reflected in their knowledge and practices in sustainable

natural resources management, in responding to climaterelated

crises, and their actions as entrepreneurs advancing

green technologies and businesses. Gender inequalities that

limit women’s access to financial resources, land, education,

health and other opportunities also limit their capacity to

mitigate climate change and to adapt to its impacts. Women’s

unequal participation in decision-making processes and labour

markets further compound these inequalities and prevent

them from fully contributing to climate-related planning,

policy making, and implementation.

Women’s networks, collectives and organisations have

acted as critical intermediaries, linking local women with

policy makers, technology providers and funding. However,

these operate with inadequate funding to maintain – much

less expand – the scale of activities required to reduce

carbon emissions and cope with climate impacts. Despite

quantitative evidence of the risks posed by excluding women

from planning and implementation, women’s organisations

working at the intersection of gender and climate have found

little support from funders of climate action, nor from funders

of gender programmes. Current climate finance reinforces

the dominance of large, male-dominated environmental

organisations and denies women the opportunity to themselves

determine the best use of resources to address climate

challenges, with their own solutions.

However, this scenario is poised to change. New climate

finance mechanisms have the chance to reverse this exclusion

and enhance project efficiency and effectiveness by investing in

women’s agency, ownership, leadership and entrepreneurship.

Climate finance mechanisms – both public and private –

can provide support to projects and women-led businesses

for mitigation and adaptation activities that also address

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Five for women’s

empowerment and gender equality. These mechanisms

can develop innovative instruments for women’s

organisations and businesses to access dedicated funds

and loans for this purpose.

But which climate finance mechanisms exist that are truly

gender-responsive and inclusive for women in their design,

governance and implementation? Can climate finance provide

a sufficient incentive for organisations and businesses to

embrace gender and women’s empowerment?

One hope rests with the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which

mandates its accredited entities to have gender policies and

competencies. The GCF could thus be a game changer, assuming

the Fund does not allow entities to achieve accreditation

without meeting this requirement. Can this progressive gender

policy be realised and inspire other investors to use innovative

policies, approaches and tools to achieve similar goals?

pic: Asian Development Bank; Greenhouse owner hard at work in Uzbekistan

To achieve success, the GCF and other financing entities must

embrace accountability as a core principle; measurement,

quantification and even independent verification of outcomes

within climate projects is necessary to achieve sustainable and

meaningful results. This is a safeguard against ‘pink washing’,

or the common action of ticking boxes for gender.

A results-based payment system could provide a way to

increase transparency and accountability; a system that

tracks, weighs, and scores performances could drive changes

in the ways that organisations and businesses treat gender.

To fill this gap for metrics and incentives, one global women-led

organisation with expertise in both climate change and gender,

WOCAN, created the W+ Standard to provide governments,

NGOs and companies a way to measure and finance women’s

empowerment outcomes within projects and supply chains.

The W+ Standard is applied to energy, agriculture and

forestry projects that produce improved income/assets,

health, food security, leadership, time saving and education

benefits for women and their families. It is a rigorous resultsdriven

framework that quantifies and monetises the social

capital created by women, and rewards their contributions to

sustainable environments and communities, climate change

mitigation and adaptation through a donation provided to

local women’s organisations. Organisations and businesses

that obtain satisfactory results generate W+ units and receive

W+ certificates and labels that inform clients and customers

of their support for women’s empowerment. The W+ makes

it possible for companies, funders and individuals to obtain

carbon emissions offsets that provide benefits to women,

through purchases of Certified Emission reductions (CERs)

bundled with W+ units in a single package.

These two innovations – the Green Climate Fund and the W+

– have the potential to reverse historic neglect of women and

gender within environment and climate initiatives.


Jeannette Gurung is the Executive Director of Women

Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource

Management (WOCAN)

Transforming multinational climate finance

David Robinson and Benito Müller

Oxford Climate Policy

A successful global agreement to address

climate change requires an outcome with

substantial and predictable finance in

support of Least Developed Countries

(LDCs) that are particularly vulnerable

to the adverse impacts of climate change.

At present, multilateral funding is regarded to come from

national governments and mainly stems from national

budgetary allocations. It is time for a more innovative approach

to climate finance. We argue for using earmarked funds from

off-budget sources, like emission allowance auctions and

carbon taxes, while involving sub-national governments as well

as national governments as providers of climate finance.

Innovative Financing

In this context, ‘innovative financing’ refers to (off-budget)

earmarked public sector sources, usually but not always

related to combatting climate change, for instance

revenues from:

• Auctioning of emission allowances (the focus of this article)

• Carbon, or related taxes, for instance on transit or use of

fossil fuels

• A share of the proceeds from the Clean Development

Mechanism (CDM).

fund domestic climate action. Earmarked sources are usually

treated as ‘off budget’ and, as such, are treated as being more

predictable or automatic than budget allocations, which helps

with long-term planning.

From the LDC recipients’ perspective, the rationale for receiving

innovative finance is the same as in the developed countries:

predictability and automaticity, but even more so.

Developing countries have been adamant ever since the

adoption of the 2 per cent adaptation share on CDM

proceeds that any other flexibility mechanism should have a

development finance component. Using a small share (2 per

cent is the historic UNFCCC benchmark) of auction proceeds

for climate finance would hence pave the way to developing

country support for international emissions trading.

Sub-national governments

There is growing interest in the idea of sub-national governments

contributing climate finance, in particular for LDCs, through

existing multinational channels – see for example, Finance

for the Paris Climate Compact: The role of earmarked (sub)

national contributions Jun 2015. It is important, for example,

that at COP 21 Quebec just announced a Cdn$ 6 million

contribution to the multilateral LDC Fund, managed by the

GEF. Other sub-national governments, such as California,

Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba, could well

follow Quebec. This opening of the donor base is a genuine

paradigm shift in multilateral (climate and/or development)

finance, and could become accepted best practice.

In most countries, governments find it very difficult to commit

funds that are tied to future budgets. For this reason, we

have argued that public climate finance should derive from

off-budget sources, ideally those that are market based and

less vulnerable to changing policies. In many countries, for

instance in Canada and the US, sub-national governments like

the ones mentioned above are directly responsible for raising

and managing the funds from emission allowances, carbon

and other taxes.


The combination of innovative financing and the involvement

of sub-national governments is an idea whose time has come.

In the US, it is one way and perhaps the only way to enable the

US to make the sort of financial contribution that is expected.

And in Canada, it could be the basis for federal-provincial

collaboration on addressing climate change at home and in

the most vulnerable countries, re-enforcing the message that

Canada is truly back.

pic: CIF Action; A shift to solar energy in Mali

From the provider perspective, earmarking is often considered

problematic, but is widely practiced (e.g. national lotteries). In

international climate finance, earmarking is less problematic

if the revenues have already been earmarked, as is often

the case for domestic emission allowance proceeds used to


David Robinson is Managing Director of David Robinson

& Associates, and Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Climate

Policy. Contact: david@davidrobinsonassociates.com. Twitter:


Benito Müller is Managing Director of Oxford Climate

Policy, Convener International Climate Policy Research,

Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University. Contact:



The unheard stories of unbeaten spirit

from the coast of Bangladesh: Does

COP21 hear us?

Shaila Shahid

Gender and Water Alliance-Bangladesh

Jamila Begum, 42, a widow who lost her

husband during cyclone Aila more than six

years ago is still living in a makeshift

home on the embankment of Shyamnagar

Upazila in the Satkhira district on the

southern coast of Bangladesh. She used

to work as a day labourer in a shrimp

enclosure or as a household help in

solvent homes to survive.

said, “I heard that 51 people died in our union. Everyone lost

their homes, crops and livestock with beloved members of

the family. We lived under the open sky for days. But nobody

remembers us and our stories never reach the higher people”.

Cyclones and floods are no strangers to the coastal people of

Bangladesh where every disaster is accompanied by a renewed

hardship. Yet there are still more than a few thousand families

that continue to survive on the damaged embankment, which

lets in salt water leading to regular fresh water crises in

adjacent villages.

Bangladesh is recognised as a country at high risk of recurring

climate induced disasters with an average 10 million people

affected every year, the majority of them are poor women.

If, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s

(IPCC) predict, the country starts to experience more intense

cyclones, storm surge, flooding and sea level rise, that will

have a significant impact on the lives and livelihoods of up to

15 million people.

Recently the Bangladesh Government endorsed the Climate

Change and Gender Action Plan, the seventh Five Year

Plan and the ‘Delta Plan 2100’ where Gender and Water

Programme of Bangladesh (GWAPB) provided technical inputs

to systematically address gender issues in policy planning.

The position of women in Bangladesh policy frameworks is

mixed and a huge gap between theory and practice exist. The

global scenario is not different when it comes to prioritising

the gender agenda in the climate negotiations, including COP

21. This is largely because the process of global consultations

often follows a conventional approach that tends to overlook

the tremendous contribution of women in rebuilding life. This

perspective needs to be reversed to give women the proper

acknowledgment they deserve. Although distinct progress has

been made at policy level, links between gender and climate

change impacts on disaster-prone communities, and their

livelihoods remains tenuous in reality.


pic: Shaila Shahid, Gender and Water Alliance-Bangladesh

Jamila summed up her life, “I do not have any brother. So I

tried to provide necessary support to my mother and a young

daughter with little income that I make. We barely had enough

to eat two meals a day and a roof over our head,” she added,

“all was taken away by the Aila”. Jamila is among thousands

of others who have lost everything in cyclone Aila that hit the

South Western Part of Bangladesh on May 25 2009.

Reliving the day, Jamila said, “Wind was really strong, we all

went to the cyclone shelter except my husband who was away

with other fisherman to protect the shrimping equipment. My

house was washed away along with everything in it. Everything

I had was gone.” Describing the damage by the cyclone she

Up to now, global leaders have failed to adequately include

women and gender issues at the core of their vision and mission.

If climate change policy is about ensuring a sustainable future,

it must take into account the gender dimension of climate

change. More than men, women are the faces of resilience,

actors and contributors at all levels of the society. Complete

realisation of women’s sense of responsibility, their roles, and

acknowledgement in relation to the natural resource base are

vital in combating climate change, particularly in terms of

adaptation, risk reduction and management. Empty promises

are not going to solve the problem. The countries responsible

for the climate crisis should bear the responsibility to curb over

consumption patterns and provide grants to ensure climate

justice – particularly for women’s empowerment and social

transformation. COP21 needs to feel the urgency. This time we

demand a legally binding agreement with clear identification

of gender equality under climate finance, social protection

and adaptation.

Side events calendar



10:00-16:00 Morocco Pavillion

COP 21 Gender Day at the Morocco Pavilion - Women: Active and engaged in

the fight against climate change

11:30—13:00 Observer rm 03 The Global Carbon Budget 2015 in context of a 2C pathway

11:30—13:00 Observer rm 04

Can national policies and INDCs alone lead to a workable and effective

climate regime?

Morocco, UN Women

University of East Anglia (UEA), Center for International Climate and

Environmental Research (CICERO), The University of Manchester

Fondation pour les etudes et recherches sur le developpement

international * (Ferdi), Ca' Foscari University, Venice (UNIVE),

ClimateWorks Foundation

11:30—13:00 Observer rm 10 Africa Day “A New Climate Agreement: Implications and Prospects for Africa” African Union Commission (AUC), East African Community (EAC), Ethiopia

11:30—13:00 Observer rm 01 Gender just climate solutions

11:30—13:00 Observer rm 02

13:15—14:45 Observer rm 10

How will INDCs shape development? Views from Chile, China, Colombia,

India, Peru & South Africa

Getting Africa ready for the 2015 Agreement: Role of regional and

international organizations

13:15—14:45 Observer rm 08 Mitigating methane emissions: from science to innovative solutions

13:15—14:45 Observer rm 04 Climate Innovators: Empowering a Global Generation of Young People United Nations (UN)

13:15—14:45 Observer rm 01

13:15—14:45 Observer rm 03

Reality check: How UNFCCC tools,guidance,finance and cooperation support

gender policy on the ground

Exploring Co-benefits of Climate Finance for Development: Building on

successes for post-2015 action

15:00—16:30 Observer rm 02 Deforestation-free Agriculture: Converting pledges into action

15:00—16:30 Observer rm 01

15:00—16:30 Observer rm 03

16:45—18:15 Observer rm 02

16:45—18:15 Observer rm 03

Global Women & Indigenous Peoples on the Frontline of Climate Solutions:

Forests & Renewable Energy

Credibility of national actions and INDCs: worldwide legislative and policy


Tracking, implementing, and ramping up transformative climate action


Leadership on low-carbon Amazon rural development: governments, civil

society and supply chains

Women Environmental Programme (WEP), Women in Europe for a

Common Future (WECF), Women's Environment and Development

Organization (WEDO)

University of Cape Town (UCT), Centre for Policy Research (CPR),

SouthSouthNorth Projects Africa (SSN Africa)

African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Sudan

United States of America, Institut Veolia *, International Solid Waste

Association (ISWA)

Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate

Change (UNFCCC)

United Nations (UN)

SNV Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), National Wildlife

Federation (NWF), Rainforest Alliance (RA)

Women's Earth and Climate Caucus * (WECC), Amazon Watch, Ithaca

College, The Corner House

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Inter-

Parliamentary Union (IPU)

German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), German

Development Institute (DIE - Bonn), World Resources Institute (WRI)

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Amazon Environmental Research

Institute (IPAM), Amazon Institute of People and the Environment

(Imazon), Center of Life Institute (ICV)

16:45—18:15 Observer rm 10 Growth, the Driver of Climate Change Action Climate Policy Initiative, Inc (CPI), Brookings Institution

16:45—18:15 Observer rm 01

18:30—20:00 Observer rm 02

National Approaches to Mitigating Climate Change and Advancing Gender


More, Faster, Now! Closing the emissions gap – how to unlock mitigation

potential on the ground.

ETC Foundation (ETC), Liberia, Women Organizing for Change in

Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN)

Sweden, WWF (WWF)

18:30—20:00 Observer rm 10 Beyond Grants: Innovative Blended Finance Global Environment Facility (GEF)

18:30—20:00 Observer rm 04

One UN solutions for Cities and Climate Change. The new climate agreement

and the new urban agenda

United Nations (UN)

18:30—20:00 Observer rm 03 Looking Forward: REDD+ and the UN-REDD Programme post-2015 United Nations (UN)

18:30—20:00 Observer rm 01 Why the climate change agreement is critical to Public Health United Nations (UN)


COP 21 Gender Day at the Morocco Pavilion, Tuesday, 8 December, 2015 (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.) Please RSVP clicking here.


10 – 10.30 a.m. The Gender and Climate Nexus:

Setting the stage

Ms. Hakima El Haite, Minister Delegate in charge of

Environment, Morocco

Ms. Ségolène Royal, Minister for Ecology, Sustainable

Development and Energy, France (tbc)

Launch of the Joint UN Women and UNEP Programme on

Women’s Sustainable Energy Entrepreneurship and Access

by Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive

Director, and Mr. Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director.

10.30 a.m. – 12.15 p.m. Sustainable Energy Access

High-Level Panel, including Ms. Isabella Lövin, Minister of

International Development Cooperation, Sweden; Ms. Ligia

Noronha, Director, DTIE UNEP; Mr. Ahmed Baroudi, General

Director, Energy Investment Company, Morocco; Dr. Naoko

Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility

(GEF); Mr. Sarwono Kusumaatmadja, Chair of the Advisory

Council on Climate Change, Indonesia; Dr. Yannick Glemarec,

Deputy Executive Director, UN Women.

12.30 – 2 p.m. Climate-Resilient Agriculture

High-Level Panel, including Mr. Fernando Frutuoso

de Melo, Director General for International Cooperation

and Development, European Commission; Ms. Charafat

Afilal, Minister delegate in charge of Water, Morocco; Dr.

Pape Abdoulaye Seck, Minister of Agriculture and Rural

Equipment, Senegal; Dr. Yannick Glemarec, Deputy Executive

Director, UN Women; Mr. Satya Tripathi, Director, UNORCID.

2.30 – 4 p.m. Women’s Engagement in Climate-Change


High-Level Exchanges and Reflections, including Ms. Pascale

Boistard, State Secretary for Women’s Rights, France;

Ms. Mara Marinaki, Principal Adviser on Gender and the

implementation of UNSCR1325, European External Action

Service (EEAS); Ms. Catherine Coutelle, President of the

Delegation on women rights at French National Assembly;

Dr. Yannick Glemarec, Deputy Executive Director, UN Women;

Ms. Fathia Bennis, President of Women’s Tribune, Morocco;

Mr. Driss El Yazami, Chairman of the National Human Rights

Council, Morocco (Moderator).


Reflections from COP21, Monday 7 December

Bharadwaj Kummamuru

World Bioenergy Association

nrg4SD and

The Climate Group

As COP21 moves into its second week, there is a sense of

optimism. Some might argue about the slow progress of the

discussions – there are still some issues to sort out: financing

to developing countries, differentiated responsibilities and

transparency of implementation. However, it is important to

note that the negotiations have so far progressed well. There are

many reasons why COP21 can be the success that Copenhagen

failed to be six years ago: renewables have become more

affordable; there is increasing public awareness and pressure

on the governments to shift to a cleaner future; and the urgency

to cap emissions as soon as possible to prevent, the already

more frequently occurring, climate disasters, such as floods,

droughts and hurricanes.

It is absolutely clear that renewables are the future. At the same

time, it is important to develop different renewable together

in an integrated way. Keeping that in mind, the global alliance

of renewable energy associations or REN Alliance held a side

event at COP21. The Alliance is made up of the World Wind

Energy Association (WWEA), World Bioenergy Association

(WBA), International Solar Energy Society (ISES), International

Geothermal Association (IGA) and International Hydropower

Association (IHA).

The speakers focused on the various ways in which renewables are

working together, using case studies of regions, communities and

cities. The studies focused on policy, finance and technical steps

involved in realising the integration of renewables. Successful

pathways for renewables include cost effective and efficient

technologies, access to capital and favourable policy. There

has been a tremendous increase in renewables capacity, which

has for the first time outpaced the installation of fossil fuels. In

such a scenario, systems thinking and holistic approaches are

necessary to achieve a 100% renewable energy future.

As part of the agenda of regional governments at the COP21

in Paris, the Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable

Development (nrg4SD) and The Climate Group yesterday held

the official side-event: ‘Driving Climate Action through the

Compact of States and Regions and the Under2MOU’.

The event brought different States and Regions together to

showcase the aspirational efforts and opportunities, as well as

the challenges, for climate action in their territories. Particularly,

regions highlighted the importance of reporting mechanisms

and data submitted to the Compact of States and Regions.

At the event, the first Compact of States and Regions Disclosure

Report was launched, an assessment of the aggregated global

data collected by the initiative.

The event also built upon the recent RegionsAdapt initiative,

launched on 3 December. Created by the Governments of Rio

de Janeiro and Catalonia, RegionsAdapt aims to establish a

collaborative framework for the adoption and review of strategic

plans for adaptation and the prioritisation of concrete actions,

as well as reporting data and monitoring of implemented

adaptation actions through the Compact of States and Regions.

RegionsAdapt now has over 20 subnational governments

participating. In addition to the creators, founding signatories

also include California, Wales, South Australia, Sud Comoé,

British Columbia, Lombardia, Fatick, Gossas, Tocantins,

Tombouctou, Rio Grande do Sul, Quebec, Prince Edward Island,

Basque Country, Vermont, Jalisco, KwaZulu-Natal, São Paulo,

Goiás and Australian Capital Territory.

Additional regions have expressed their interest to join

the RegionsAdapt. The expectation is to reach around 30

participants to the Initiative by the end of COP21.

Outreach is made possible by the support of

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