Global Resources

Roots for the future: the landscape and way forward on gender and climate change

Author: L. Aguilar, M. Granat
Publisher: International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (World Conservation Union)
Publication Date: Dec 2015

This report represents an update to the content of the ‘2008 Training Manual on Gender and Climate Change’, produced by the International Union of Conservation of Nature and partners. However, it should not be regarded as a training manual in and of itself; the target audience is wide, from policymakers to grassroots practitioners.

Overall, the report provides a comprehensive discussion of the major issues related to gender and climate change decision-making across four themes: international and national policies; adaptation and mitigation; sustainable cities; and finance mechanisms. The format of the report consists of seven thematic chapters that conclude with detailed recommendations, and while each is designed to stand alone, together they flow into a coherent overview of the topic at hand.

The first chapter provides an introduction to climate change and its likely impacts, and describes the value of a gender-responsive approach to tackling these challenges. The second chapter concerns national, regional, and global policy landscapes. Next, the third chapter discusses gender-responsive adaptation across multiple sectors, including disaster risk reduction, water, health, and food sovereignty. This chapter also examines various aspects, both positive and negative, of different adaptation planning and implementation contexts.

Climate change mitigation is the subject of the fourth chapter, with a particular focus on the gender-responsiveness of the energy sector and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). The following chapter focuses on developing and supporting resilient, sustainable, and gender-responsive urban environments, while the sixth chapter concerns gender-responsive climate finance. Afterward, the seventh chapter presents case studies of a number of gender-responsive initiatives across different sectors. These include female solar engineers in Africa and Asia, a women’s wind energy cooperative in Sweden, and women taking action on climate change in Australia.

The key messages highlighted by the report are that:

  • While climate change will have varied impacts across different regions, pervasive gender inequalities around the world mean that women are likely to be disproportionately impacted in all regions.
  • As well as climate-related impacts, national and local policies and activities have the capacity to either transform or perpetuate and strengthen patterns of inequality.
  • Issues related to climate change are inherently interlinked across sectors, regions, sociocultural systems, economies, and ecosystems.
  • Recognising the important contributions of both women and men as decisionmakers, stakeholders, educators, caretakers, and experts is necessary for successful long-term solutions.
  • Evidence points toward important co-benefits for climate change adaptation and mitigation, including increased gender equality, social justice and overall well-being for the world community.
  • Across all sectors, women are leading the way toward more equitable and sustainable solutions to climate change.