Gender and Climate Change Activities @ COP23 - Bonn 2017

Photo by Shubhangi Singh | Survival Media Agency

The 23rd UN Climate Change Conference took place from November 6 to 17 in Bonn, Germany and was presided over by the Government of Fiji.

GenderCC was represented at COP23 with a delegation to follow the negotiations, to host side events and workshops, and to advocate for a strong and gender-just outcome of COP23. As usual, we were closely involved in the activities of the Women and Gender Constituency.

Two years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement and one year after it has entered into force, the main goal of COP23 was to move forward in defining the guidelines for its implementation. Among the slow progresses, the missed opportunities and the half-hearted commitments we have witnessed in Bonn, there are however two noteworthy stories of success: the first ever Gender Action Plan (GAP) to the UNFCCC was adopted and the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform operationalised.

Read GenderCC and LIFE's joint statement on the outcomes of COP23 here.

GenderCC's demands for COP23 are available here.
And the key demands of the Women and Gender Constituency can be accessed here.

Gender... And Action! The first Gender Action Plan under the UNFCCC

At COP23, a decision was reached that marks a milestone in our longstanding efforts to integrate gender into international climate policy: the first Gender Action Plan under the UNFCCC. At COP22 in Marrakech, Parties decided to continue and enhance the Lima Work Programme on Gender and requested the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) to develop this Gender Action Plan in order to support the implementation of the gender-related decisions and mandates so far adopted in the UNFCCC process.

The Gender Action Plan as it was adopted at COP23 (read the decision text here) defines five priority areas for action and contains a set of 16 specific activities for the upcoming two years. Among those are in-session workshops for delegates on how to develop gender-responsive climate policies, plans and programmes, and the promotion of travel funds to support the participation of women (in particular grassroots, local and indigenous women) from developing countries. Together those activities are meant to advance the implementation of the various gender-related decisions and mandates that already exist but have so far only insufficiently been implemented under the UNFCCC. The GAP acknowledges that little progress has been made so far towards women’s equal participation in the UNFCCC process and towards developing and implementing gender-just climate policies and actions and it marks a significant step forward in the efforts to advance gender equality in the international climate process. The test however will be its implementation. In order for it to live up to its promises, Parties now have to come forward with generous voluntary contributions to supply the necessary funds for each activity.

Read more about the Gender Action Plan in GenderCC & LIFE's joint statement on the outcomes of COP23 here.

GenderCC's activities in Bonn

GenderCC @ COP23

On Saturday, November 4, the GenderCC team as well as 25,000 other activists attended the #endcoal march in Bonn prior to COP23. A feminist bloc including local queer feminists, Women Pacific Climate Warriors and organisations from the Women and Gender Constituency as well as a band of drummers took a prominent place in the march. The message of the group was clear: climate justice and gender justice are important, non-negotiable goals of feminists and climate activists. The feminist bloc, with about 500 activists in total, spent the march chanting several of our slogans, and building up energy for climate justice and gender-just solutions.

GenderCC was also represented at the 13th Conference of Youth (COY13) prior to COP23. We've joined forces with other youth from the Young Feminists for Climate Justice group for a storytelling workshop. As diverse young feminists & climate justice advocates, we have unique insights, and face particular forms of patriarchy, ageism & structural barriers. This session featured diverse young feminists & their stories of fighting for climate justice, and invited participants to share theirs. GenderCC's Lisa Göldner furthermore held an introductory workshop on the gender dimensions of climate change titled "What's gender got to do with it? A feminist perspective on climate change".