As prepared for delivery.
Ministers, Distinguished Speakers, Colleagues and Friends.
I am delighted to join this side-event on the economic case for gender-responsive climate action and to announce the gender component of UNDP’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Support Programme that will be launched tomorrow here at COP23.
As we know, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement are closely linked—tackling climate change and achieving the SDGs go hand-in-hand. Cutting across all the SDGs, climate change will increase resource scarcity, undermine livelihoods, and challenge human security, all of which make it more difficult to achieve a sustainable development agenda. As such, countries will have to implement integrated and inclusive approaches to address climate change and achieve sustainable development, including through their Nationally Determined Contributions to achieve the Paris Agreement.
While climate change threatens livelihoods and security for all, women and girls commonly face higher risks and greater burdens, particularly when they are living in poverty. Women’s unequal participation in decision-making and unequal access to resources and information compound other inequalities and prevent women from fully contributing to climate-related planning, policy-making and implementation. Yet the evidence is clear that women’s participation in leadership, decision-making and community representation are central to delivering both successful climate action and sustainable development.
UNDP is therefore pleased to announce its support to 10 countries1 in four regions (Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East/North Africa), together with the Government of Germany, to incorporate gender in the Nationally Determined Contribution planning and implementation process.
Need for this work was underscored last year by UNDP’s gender analysis of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, which found that only 40% of such contributions made at least one reference to gender equality or women. Those references were primarily related to the role of women in adaptation, but without specific mention of key sectors or women’s roles. Even fewer recognized the role of women in mitigation.
Ultimately, we would like to see that all national climate processes integrate gender comprehensively, including in mitigation efforts, to recognize women’s roles as consumers and suppliers of energy, as users of energy appliances and household energy, and in key sectors such as transportation or livestock management, all of which are important entry points for emissions reduction.
Therefore, UNDP will build upon its experience both in working closely with countries in developing their I/NDCs and in mainstreaming gender throughout development interventions. Through collaboration and knowledge sharing, UNDP will help strengthen women’s leadership and engagement in climate action and ensure that they have access to necessary resources to build their resilience to climate change and to contribute to a zero-carbon economy.
Partnerships with key stakeholders at the national and local levels are key to understanding and addressing the factors that exacerbate women’s and men’s vulnerability to climate change and how it impacts their lives and livelihoods and to developing effective policies. At the subnational and community levels, civil society and grassroots organizations are particularly important actors, and play a key role in building capacities to ensure women are empowered, engaged and valued agents of climate action, , who can reach and transfer information and knowledge to the poorest communities, thus UNDP will promote partnerships in country with an array of stakeholders.
By recognizing, advocating, and supporting women’s leadership and participation in climate action at all levels, we can help ensure that the good intent of the Paris Agreement is realized and that we respond to climate change in an effective and successful manner that benefits all.