The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC, makes use of the contribution of various institutional entities, including the “constituted bodies”, for its implementation and coordination. These bodies, established following specific decisions during the Conferences of the Parties, have the role of facilitating the entire negotiation process by pursuing well-defined objectives. One of these goals is the inclusion of gender issues.
In the context of this goal, in 2014 the Lima Work Programme on Gender (LWPG) instructed the UNFCCC Secretariat to provide technical assistance to bodies set up to examine and investigate the relevance of gender in their work. This commitment was renewed and expanded with the update of the Gender Action Plan during the COP25 in 2019. Now, in addition to the perpetuation of technical support, the chairs of established bodies are required to report on progress made on gender issues, and the Secretary should summarize this information in a biennial report. Furthermore, to facilitate the exchange of ideas and experiences, the Secretariat has the task of organizing a dialogue between the presidents of the established bodies, thus promoting a larger engagement on gender mainstreaming.
Precisely during the last day of preliminary negotiations, this type of meeting between the various bodies was held on Thursday June 15th, which discussed the progress made in integrating the gender perspective into their processes.
The established bodies have developed their own methods to integrate the gender perspective into their activities. Nevertheless, some common elements that characterize these practices have demonstrated a substantial progress in adopting a systematic approach to the inclusion of gender in an increasing number of activities. These include: integrating gender as a cross-cutting element in all practices; the designation of gender representatives or working groups to promote and monitor the integration of these perspectives into the work of the body; inclusive and gender-sensitive communications, such as the use of language and images that respect diversity; involvement of organizations or gender experts; collaboration with other bodies; organization of webinars and training sessions on the topic.
The Katowice Committee of Experts on the Impacts of the Implementation of Response Measures (KCI) is committed to integrating gender into its activities, focusing on four areas: just transition of workers, economic diversification, development of tools to assess impacts and analysis of the effects of response measures. Among its forthcoming activities, the KCI plans to publish several papers addressing just transition monitoring and economic diversification, as well as the role of the private sector in climate change mitigation, always considering the gender perspective.
The Paris Committee on Capacity-building (PCCB) has taken several measures, including the appointment of a contact person for gender issues and the expansion of the network of organizations that focus on the issue. It has integrated the gender perspective into various publications, such as the PCCB toolkit, and online courses. It has also partnered up with other bodies to address gender gaps, and is committed to gender balance, use inclusive language, and actively involve women in events and publications.
The Technology Executive Committee (TEC) promotes the adoption of gender-sensitive technology solutions to combat climate change, while protecting local, indigenous and traditional knowledge and practices in various sectors, in order to improve climate resilience. This translates into strong support for the full participation and leadership of women and girls in science, technology, research and development. Currently, the committee is working in collaboration with another body, the Climate Technology Center and Network (CTCN), to develop a list of experts in gender and climate technology, which will soon be made public.
The Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) devotes at least 1% of its budget to gender matters integration across all activities, enabling countries to benefit from its support for gender-sensitive climate action. The gender policy of the CTCN will be reviewed this year, including contributions from various advisory councils. It collaborates with the Women and Gender Constituency to promote gender-balanced climate solutions. An example of this collaboration is the “Gender Just Climate Solution Awards” program, which rewards community climate initiatives focused on gender equality. Finally, it offers a mentoring program for those who win the prize, facilitating their participation in the COP and their understanding of the mechanisms of the convention.
The Consultative Group of Experts (CGE) is committed to integrating the gender perspective by providing technical support and promoting the participation of women in its work. The body collaborates with other expert groups under the Convention and the Paris Agreement on various topics, including transparency and gender. It has made significant progress in increasing the representation of women, both in its structure and in training activities.
The Standing Committee on Finance (SCF) is including a gender perspective in the following four areas related to climate finance: the biennial assessment of climate finance flows, the report on developing Countries’ needs, the Forum and guidelines of finance mechanisms. It is also working on improving the formulation and dissemination of good practices on gender in climate finance.
The Facilitative Working Group of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform (FWG LCIPP) has strived to achieve gender balance since its founding, and 64% of its current members are women. The body is committed to fostering inclusive participation of women from both indigenous and local communities in all processes of the UNFCCC. It works on the UNFCCC Gender Action Plan to organize dialogues and support gender integration, with the aim of ensuring just and equitable climate action that considers the needs of indigenous women and women from local communities.
The Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG) assists least developed countries (LDC) to integrate gender issues into their climate adaptation plans. Since 2001, it has been promoting gender inclusion through technical guides, tools and workshops. It works in synergy with other bodies to provide technical advice on how to incorporate the gender dimension into adaptation plans in LDC. It has made significant progress in recognizing gender equality as a priority in adaptation plans in LDC.
The Adaptation Fund Board (AFB) has included gender equality in its strategic goals to promote a more inclusive and sustainable adaptation to climate change. In 2016, it adopted a recently updated gender action plan, which emphasizes the importance of considering and addressing various social and cultural factors that affect everyone’s life. It is currently improving the system for monitoring and tracking progress through the development of a gender assessment framework and the production of case studies. It is also offering gender training courses to its staff and plans to create an online course on integrating gender issues into the project lifecycle.
The Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damages Executive Committee (WIM ExCom) has adopted a gender-inclusive approach in its 2023-2027 work plan, emphasizing the use of gender-differentiated data and the merging of gender perspectives and human rights in the action plans of the expert groups. Currently, half of the members of the body are women and gender equality is present in most of the technical groups.
The Clean Development Mechanism is committed to integrating gender policies in the selection of experts and in all its activities. Furthermore, it collaborates with the Advisory Board, a body established by Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, to continue and enhance gender inclusion in negotiation processes.
The Article 6.4 Supervisory Body is committed to ensuring a gender balance in the composition of its members. During future meetings, the Committee will take into account the Lima Work Programme on Gender and its action plan, integrating appropriate actions into its work.
The Paris Agreement Implementation and Compliance Committee (PAICC) has started operating recently, but has already a balanced composition in terms of gender, with 6 female members out of a total of 12. Its main role is to facilitate the implementation of the Paris Agreement and promote compliance with the commitments by the Parties. It also deals with systemic matters related to challenges in implementing the Accord, including gender-related aspects.
Article by Camilla Pollera, volunteer of the Italian Climate Network