Climate Finance Fundamentals 10: Gender and Climate Finance


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Women, who form the majority of the world’s 2 billion poorest people and the 1.1 billion without access to electricity, are often disproportionally affected by climate change impacts as a result of persisting gender norms and discriminations. Women and men also contribute to climate change responses in different ways. The Cancun Agreements acknowledge that gender equality and the effective participation of women are important for all aspects of any response to climate change, but especially for adaptation. Gender-responsive climate financing instruments and funding allocations are needed. This is a matter of using scarce public funding in an equitable, efficient
and effective way. It also acknowledges that climate finance decisions are not made within a normative vacuum, but must be guided by the acknowledgment of women’s rights as unalienable human rights.

Many climate funds started out gender-blind, but over the past few years have recognized the need to consider gender retroactively, resulting in important fund structure and policy improvements. In contrast, the Green Climate Fund, the largest multilateral climate fund, started out with a mandate to integrate a gender perspective from the outset into its policy frameworks and funding operations. It could set new best practice for genderresponsiveness in funding climate actions by addressing not only the way how, but also what it will fund. This note outlines some key principles and actions for making climate-financing instruments more responsive to the needs of men and women as equal participants in decision-making and as beneficiaries of climate actions and supportive of gender equality more broadly.

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