Summary Presidency COP25: Gender and Climate Change

Undoubtedly, the climate crisis increases the inequalities and it is especially harmful for the most vulnerable population, such as women.

The gender perspective plays a fundamental role in the understanding of the disproportionate impact on women of climate change and biodiversity loss, due to the underlying structural existing inequalities; and to reduce the gaps. Women all over the world face social, economic, political and cultural discrimination; they are more vulnerable to climate change and biodiversity loss, having fewer opportunities to develop mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Chile recognizes the differentiated impact of climate change between women and men, and the role that women play as agents of change. In this regard, we took the Presidency of COP 25 on behalf Latin America and the Caribbean, where people have greater economic dependence on its natural resources and the social and economic system strongly remains controlled but men. Women in charge of an agricultural farm, range from 8% to no more than 30%. Access to finance and building capacities are also unequal; women only receive 10% of credits and 5% of technical assistance for this sector.

Certain factors such as poverty, less access to water and to management of natural resources, the high rate of educational desertion or the lower participation in decision-making processes can dramatically determine women possibilities to face in a better way, the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss.

However, that is the reason why women can be also agents of change. For decades, we have been fighting against social and cultural barriers, asking for equal rights and we have won many battles; therefore we are a transformative power.

As Presidency of COP25, we have encouraged to highlight the importance of moving forward on this path.

  • We organized the Technical Gender Workshop. This initiative was developed as part of the contribution provided by the European Union, through its EUROCLIMA+ program, the support as co-host of Costa Rica, Peru and Uruguay, that was an extraordinary opportunity to increase the dialogue and exchange of points of view on this subject. The Lima Work Program Gender and the Gender Action Plan will continue to be our framework to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment of the UNFCCC process; and we are very proud of our contribution for the success of the negotiations.
  • We launched a formal network of women negotiators of the UNFCCC process, with a clear focus on creating peer-to-peer opportunities and strengthening capacity for leadership, through networks and mentoring for women negotiators under the UNFCCC.

In both instances, the European Union was a key strategic partner in climate action and in connecting the dots between the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, in support of the achievement of the Paris Agreement objectives.

  • We co-organized with Germany and the UNFCCC the High-Level Event on gender justice for climate change and biodiversity, its aim was to recognize and reaffirm the importance and relevance of integrating gender considerations into national and international climate action, and biodiversity preservation, with a view towards the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and to the ongoing development of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework under the CBD. The attendees included the former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson; Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Patricia Espinosa; the Environment Ministers of Germany, Svenja Schulze; of Egypt, Yassmin Abdelaziz; and Luxembourg, Carole Dieschbourg; the Minister of Mines and Energy of Colombia, María Fernanda Suárez; the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica, Lorena Aguilar; the Secretary of State for Equality of Spain, Soledad Murillo; and the Administrator of UNDP, Achim Steiner.

Under the leadership of Chile’s Presidency of the COP25, and after intense efforts by its negotiating team, the member states of the Convention on Climate Change, were able to approve today the renewal for five years of the mandate of the “Gender Action Plan (GAP)”, an instrument that allows countries to integrate the gender perspective in the implementation of the Paris Agreement, thus strengthening the role and empowerment of women in their respective local communities.