For a Safer Earth, Healthier Climate

Nigeria, Over 60 Other Countries To Embark On Gender Responsive Just Transition

By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja

Nigeria and over 68 other countries have signed into a gender-responsive just transition to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement at COP 28 in Dubai.

Supported by the UNFCCC and led by UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28 Razan Al Mubarak, the high-level dialogue culminated in the announcement of a new COP28 Gender-Responsive Just Transitions & Climate Action Partnership from the COP28 Presidency, which was endorsed by over 60 Parties. The Partnership includes a package of commitments, including actions on data, finance, and equal opportunities. Implementation will be reviewed at a second convening during COP31.

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), 1.2 billion jobs, representing 40 percent of the global labor force, are at risk due to global warming and environmental degradation.  Women are expected to be most severely affected due to their high representation in sectors particularly susceptible to climate change.

The transition to a low-carbon and sustainable economy will lead to both the elimination and transformation of some jobs, as well as the creation of new roles. Ministers and high-level officials have therefore agreed on a series of commitments to support women’s economic empowerment and ensure women’s livelihoods are protected during this transition.  

Razan Al Mubarak said: “Climate change is not gender neutral – it disproportionately impacts women and girls. Already, the climate crisis amplifies existing gender inequalities and poses a serious threat to women’s livelihoods, health and wellbeing. To deliver a just transition, we must reform the architecture of the global financial system and ensure finance flows to the regions and the people who need it the most. But we must also invest in women’s economic empowerment to ensure no one is left behind.”

The new partnership builds on objectives previously outlined in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Gender Action Plan, which set out activities under five key priority areas to advance understanding of gender-responsive climate action. In particular, the new COP28 Gender-Responsive Just Transitions & Climate Action Partnership centres around three core pillars: better quality data to support decision-making in transition planning, more effective finance flows to regions most impacted by climate change, and education, skills and capacity building to support individual engagement in transitions.  

UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous said: “The rights of women and girls must be at the centre of climate action, including here at COP28. We must ensure that women have a seat at the decision-making table. We must strengthen inclusive decision-making so that the voices of feminists, youth, indigenous and other grassroots movements can be heard loud and clear from the local to the global level.”

By mid-century, it is predicted that climate change could push up to 158 million more women and girls into poverty globally (16 million more than the total number of men and boys).  To ensure climate finance appropriately serves the needs of women and girls, particularly those in climate-vulnerable regions, it is critical to address the current gender data gap to further understand how women are impacted by climate change.

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