Women's Leadership in Climate Change Diplomacy - Seeker's Thoughts

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Seeker's Thoughts

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Women's Leadership in Climate Change Diplomacy

Women's Leadership in Climate Change Diplomacy

Climate diplomacy

As the world continues to grapple with climate change, there are various means of reducing emissions. One of these is global environmental governance. It is argued that this is the most effective form of climate mitigation. Moreover, cities and subnational actors are also gaining increased importance in climate diplomacy.

Women's leadership in climate change diplomacy

The Women's Leadership in Climate Change Diplomacy Networking Reception at WEDO provided an opportunity to discuss the progress that has been made to advance women's leadership in climate change policy making. In a discussion moderated by WEDO's Anniete Cohn-Lois, panelists shared their views on the state of play.

One way to improve gender equality in climate diplomacy is to increase the number of female delegates. At COP24 in Copenhagen, women represented 38 percent of delegates.

This figure is higher in countries where girls receive a good education. Countries with higher rates of female representation also tend to adopt more stringent climate change policies. A study found that countries with a higher percentage of women in parliament were more likely to ratify environmental treaties.

Women's participation has also increased in Western and Eastern Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Africa. However, the gains are not linear. For example, at COP13 in Bali, women were 18 percent of the delegates.

During the Doha round of negotiations, a number of Parties pledged to promote women's participation. These include China, the European Union, and the United States.

Despite these efforts, the Gender Action Plan (GAP) of the UNFCCC has not yet established clear objectives or metrics. However, the GAP does include five priority areas, including monitoring and reporting mechanisms.

One of the key objectives of the GAP is to enhance women's leadership in climate negotiations. Specifically, it calls for systematic gender analysis and the establishment of gender-sensitive benchmarks. It is also important to consider the gender balance of delegations and hosted speakers.

Several prominent women have played important roles in global climate negotiations. For example, Christiana Figueres was the former executive secretary of the UNFCCC. She played an instrumental role in negotiating the Paris Agreement.

Gender equality in COP processes and outcomes

Women's participation in climate negotiations has grown significantly over the last twenty years, but not linearly. There are still damaging imbalances at the national level and in intergovernmental climate negotiations.

In 2008, the UNFCCC started tracking women's participation in COPs. Their research found that men spoke 74% of the time in plenary meetings. That has improved considerably over the last year. But gender parity remains a rare accomplishment, especially at the global level.

Women play a transformative role in climate change adaptation and mitigation. They are leading innovative approaches to promote agroecology and sustainable energy transitions. Yet they remain disadvantaged in many countries due to laws restricting their economic opportunities.

The United Nations calls on governments to take gender into account in all aspects of climate policymaking. This includes the development, (re) organization, evaluation, and implementation phases. It is also the responsibility of all actors involved in policymaking.

Gender mainstreaming is the process of integrating a gender perspective throughout all areas of policy measures, from the development stage to the evaluation phase. Ultimately, it seeks to eliminate inequalities between women and men.

To achieve the goal of gender equality in climate negotiations, governments have implemented a new five-year Gender Action Plan. It calls for the scale-up of gender-just climate solutions, and a greater focus on implementation.

A key focus of the new GAP is to strengthen the support for women's programs and leadership, including crisis preparedness and entrepreneurship in renewables and infrastructure. Global investments are also directed towards supporting the work of women's organizations.

One example of this is the Todos Juntos Juntos initiative, which trains indigenous women in Guatemala to build solar batteries for refugees. Another is the Imece initiative, which promotes women's leadership in promoting gender-responsive technology solutions.

Cities and subnational actors are gaining importance in climate diplomacy

In recent years, cities and subnational actors have become increasingly important players in climate diplomacy. Cities are often underfunded and, as such, lack access to the public finance and private investment needed to address climate change. They have also gained recognition as key policy makers and innovators. However, cities' role in international policymaking has not been fully recognized or understood.

One area of city diplomacy that has garnered significant attention is urban climate governance. This field has been boosted by the rise of informal multilateral organisations that help cities develop local climate plans and promote local input to national climate goals. Currently, cities are responsible for two-thirds of the world's total emissions.

Another area of interest is the City-Business Climate Alliance, an initiative led by the World Bank that convenes the most ambitious business leaders. The initiative helps developing countries improve their financial performance and reduce their carbon footprint.

Another area of focus is climate justice. Cities are becoming relevant for this agenda, largely because of their role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A growing number of city-level climate plans put a focus on climate justice, and many cities are incorporating climate action into their long-term development plans.

Climate diplomacy must expand its scope to include cities and their stakeholders. It should call for a more equitable division of responsibilities between rural and urban populations, and ensure that national climate policies consider the differences between the urban and rural scales.

Developing partnerships with other governments and non-state actors is another important step for city diplomacy. This includes partnering with civil society, as well as the private sector.

Increasingly, cities are participating in international climate policy forums, and becoming better organised. Among the most powerful city-led climate diplomacy networks are those based in OECD countries. These networks play a central role in supporting local responses to the global climate emergency.

China-US climate cooperation cannot be separated from the wider environment of China-US relations

China and the US have been cooperating on climate for several years. The relationship has been a key part of advancing the Paris agreement and climate negotiations. However, a number of recent events have raised concerns.

President Xi Jinping released his latest Qiushi magazine, which contained a call to action for the two countries to achieve dual targets. This is a positive move for both the US and China. It demonstrates that both sides are aware of the need for cooperation and the benefits it can bring.

As the world's two largest greenhouse gas emitters, the US and China have a responsibility to take aggressive actions on climate. They also have a stake in the rest of the world coming together to tackle the threat posed by global warming. Both countries have the opportunity to show leadership and demonstrate transparency on the implementation of their plans.

However, amidst escalating geopolitical tensions, a number of issues have arisen that limit the willingness of the two countries to cooperate. For example, a new debt crisis is threatening to undermine efforts to finance climate-friendly development.

Additionally, global energy and food markets are in flux. Russia's war on Ukraine has led to a spike in fuel and food prices. These factors have an impact on low- and middle-income countries.

As such, the United States and China need to work together to accelerate their climate policies. Toward this end, the two nations have agreed to a Working Group on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s. This group will discuss specific measures that could lead to more ambitious climate action. Specifically, it will focus on the mitigation of methane emissions from the fossil sector and other areas of mutual interest.

Global environment governance may be the most effective method of mitigating climate change

The ocean plays a crucial role in the global exchange of heat and water. It is also one of the key components of the climate system. In addition, it serves as a large carbon sink. But with increasing greenhouse gas emissions, the ocean will continue to change.

These changes are affecting marine species, ecosystems, and coastal communities. They are causing an increasing number of extreme events, such as heatwaves and sea-level rise. Some of these changes are beneficial and some are detrimental. However, the impact of climate change will vary depending on the policies adopted by different countries.

To protect the future of the ocean, we need to consider the whole system, from the cryosphere to the seabed. We need to take an integrated approach that is supported by adequate governance mechanisms.

We must also consider the long-term effects of these changes. For instance, the Amundsen Sea in West Antarctic is already at a tipping point, which will cause long-term irreversible changes. Also, the freshwater budget of the ocean is decreasing. This will affect the quality of our drinking water and the amount of water we can obtain for basic human needs.

We can improve the resilience of ecosystems and coastal communities by improving their ability to adapt to climate change. By protecting coastal ecosystems and redistributing water, we can reduce the impacts of climate change.

Ocean-based climate action can reduce the world's carbon footprint by up to 21 percent. There are several ways to accomplish this, such as restoring coastal ecosystems and using renewable energy.

An integrated approach to climate change involves addressing the climate impact of all human activities. There are effective mitigation options in every major sector.

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