Early gains for gender and climate change text at COP27

COP27
PHOTO: SPREP

After a week of technical negotiations on the draft climate and gender text, the Pacific lead on gender and climate change, Eunice Dus is quietly optimistic of the gains made here in Sharm El Sheikh to push for language that supports simplified climate finance to fund gender action plan (GAP).

The key push from the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) was to urge State Parties to replace ‘enhance’ with ‘simplify’ access to climate finance to grass-roots women’s organisations, as well as indigenous people and local communities, in paragraph 12 of the gender and climate negotiating text.

“By Friday, we had agreed to include ‘simplify’ access to climate finance – the gender and climate change text that Pacific Small Island Developing States and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) promoted. It was accepted by the European Union, the United States and others. However, the second paragraph which talks about resources to mainstream gender into government policies remains contentious.

Dus said the G77 group of countries wanted the second part of the paragraph to be a separate text.

Reflecting on how the negotiations have moved in the past week, Dus said officials are trying their best to ensure the draft resolution was ready for the high-level session next week.

“The second week is really to get political high-level support to the proposed text on the draft decisions that we pushed through.

We need to continue to amplify the voices of women in the policies and implementation of the action plan and we need financial support and resources to implement any plan, said PNG’s new gender focal point Eunice Dus.

“I think the negotiations on gender is going very well and it’s very exciting since it’s the first time for me to participate. Also, for PNG, we hope to mainstream gender into our policies, so it’s a good starting point for us. I hope that we will get something positive from this COP, said Dus.

For the first time, Pacific Island Leaders endorsed a gender and adaptation political champion to elevate the issue at the global leadership level, including the COP27 negotiation process.

“The elevation of gender as a regional priority for COP27 was in line with the decision of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) early this year to prioritise gender and climate change as one of its priority areas of work, according to academic Dr George Carter, a research fellow at the Australian National University supporting technical negotiators through the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

Dr Carter said the inclusion of ‘simplified access’ to climate finance to include grassroots women organisations as well as indigenous and local communities ‘builds a door that allows local and indigenous women’s groups to access climate finance.”

It also ensures there is funding for gender action plan and activities for women, who are at the forefront of impact of climate change in many Pacific communities, said Dr Carter.

The more contentious issue in the negotiation text is who will finance gender related costs.

Dr Carter said while the Paris Agreement guarantees that developed countries should be responsible for climate finance, the United States is pushing for shared responsibility to include developing countries that have the capability or are in a position to do so. 

Determining who pays will be part of the negotiations (this) week when the high-level session convenes.

Pacific SIDS new political champion for gender and adaptation, Niue’s Minister for Natural Resources, Honorable Mona Ai’nuu will take over negotiations for the High-Level session.

Currently the text reads; “[Calls for Parties and relevant public and private entities to strengthen the gender responsiveness of climate finance with a view to strengthening the capacity of women and furthering work under the gender action plan in order to enhance access to climate finance for grass-roots women’s organisations as well as for indigenous peoples and local communities.”

[Invites developed country Parties and United Nations entities to provide financial resources to support developing country Parties in developing and implementing nationally determined gender action plans and programmes, including integrating gender into national climate policies, plans, strategies and action and nationally determined contributions, as appropriate.

In 2014, the UNFCCCC Conference of the Parties held in Lima, established the work programme on gender (LWPG) to advance gender balance and integrate gender considerations into the work of Parties and the secretariat in implementing the Convention and the Paris Agreement to achieve gender responsive climate policy and action.

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