Over the last decade, tremendous progress has been made by the global community in recognizing the differentiated causes and impacts of climate change and considering proactive, effective, inclusive, gender-responsive solutions. Roots for the Future: the Landscape and Way Forward on Gender and Climate Change presents the latest research, data, strategies, and results on gender and climate change policymaking and programming.

Produced by the Global Gender Office of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) under the auspices of the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA), and in collaboration with a wide range of authors and reviewers, including members and allies of the GGCA, Roots for the Future provides an expansive look across the sectors most critically linked to gender and climate change and proposes key recommendations for the way forward. It features case studies from GGCA members’ work, as well as other best practices such as those celebrated by the Momentum for Change: Women for Results initiative of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Roots for the Future was inspired by and updates the core content of the 2008 Gender and Climate Change Training Manual, which at the time was one of the first publications of its kind and was subsequently downloaded tens of thousands of times and used in hundreds of trainings. Not a training manual, per se, Roots for the Future still provides an array of simple, step-by-step guidance on gender mainstreaming and gender-responsive approaches to climate change decision-making, planning and projects at all levels.

WEDO’s Bridget Burns and Eleanor Blomstrom authored Chapter 2 on the Global Policy landscape. The key messages from this chapter includes:

  • Over the last few decades, a strong international policy framework spanning human rights, gender equality, environmental conservation and sustainable development has recognised the links between gender equality and climate change.
  • While the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) itself was unique in not integrating any social or gender concerns from the outset, great strides have been made by Parties recently to agree on decisions that include mandates on key gender issues. Such mandates include promoting women’s participation and leadership, gender mainstreaming of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and formulating national adaptation plans with gender-sensitive approaches, among others.
  • Despite progress in achieving gender mandates in climate change decision-making at a global level, gaps remain both in advancing more substantive understanding of gender and climate dynamics in policy-making and in ensuring that decisions are acted on, such as through guidance under UNFCCC programmes.
  • Women’s participation in global decision-making on climate change has increased in recent years—due in large part to awareness raising and to subsequent mandates on this topic—but has stagnated
    overall, with women comprising just over a third of delegates.
  • The complexity of global challenges and global policy-making demands strategic and focused attention across sectors, financial mechanisms and at all levels of society. Advancing gender equality can leverage progress on multiple fronts, delivering co-benefits for climate change.


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