Spotlight Activity: Efforts to Promote Gender Equality in the Paris Agreement
Last year, Canada had a leading role in securing the first-ever Gender Action Plan under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), adopted by countries at COP23. Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change specifically spoke to gender equality as missing from the Paris Agreement. This Action Plan will ensure that governments support more participation by women at the international climate negotiating table and review of world-wide policies regarding the impact on women.
Globally, climate change can force migration due to many ‘push factors’ (conflict, poverty, land access, and ethnicity) and ‘pull factors’ (development, livelihoods, seasonal labour, kinship, and access to health or services). Countries have been slow to recognise the role of climate change as an additional push factor, and the level to which it is driving climate refugees to leave as referenced from Agricultural Institute of Canada’s reporting at http://www.aic.ca/gender-equality-mainstreaming-digest-january-2018-issue/.
In 2018, Canada assumed the G7 Presidency and hosts its June meeting in Canada. The five themes are gender equality; climate change, oceans, clean energy; and economic growth. On March 8, McKenna, announced that Canada will also host the Women Leaders Kicking It on Climate Summit in May, in preparation for the G7 Environment Ministerial Meeting.
Status: Right Direction
The UNFCCC states women play a critical role on climate change due to their local knowledge of and leadership in sustainable resource management and/or leading sustainable practices at the household and community level. Politically, results include greater responsiveness to citizen’s needs, often increasing cooperation across party and ethnic lines, and creating a more sustainable peace. The G7 summit must promote a gender equitable lens globally to better respond to and reduce climate change risk.
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The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Mail: 200 Sacré-Coeur Boulevard, Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H3