BONN, GERMANY (March 13, 2014)– On Thursday. March 13th, during the first session of the UNFCCC in Bonn, the co-Chairs of the Ad-hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Action (ADP) held a “Special Event” with constituencies, meant to provide an interactive forum for observers to present concrete ideas and proposals on the roles that non-State actors could play in catalyzing action to enhance pre-2020 ambition effectively and in designing the 2015 agreement. Below, please find the intervention of Sabine Bock, WECF, on behalf of the Women and Gender Constituency (WGC).

You can watch the entire interactive dialogue here.

My name is Sabine Bock from WECF and I speak on behalf of the Women and Gender Constituency. We have listened with great interest to the negotiations and presentations so far and have seen that gender was addressed in the discussion. We are very pleased about this.

I want to address three issues today:

1.) In regard to ADP discussions: We have had a number of countries, at the end of ADP in Warsaw, and here in Bonn, (Norway & Mexico in adaptation / LDCs in MoI) who have emphasized that gender considerations should be guiding principle for all activities in the new instrument– we hope that this will be reflected in the Chairs summary. To integrate gender into a new agreement, to put gender responsive policies in place is crucial for women and men all over the world as women and men often still have different daily lives according to traditional gender roles, which needs to be recognized and acted accordingly as this has an impact on all the different elements discussed here. 

2.) We were pleased that at the session on equity and ambition the importance of socio-economic issues were raised. We see it as a crucial issue and we just want to highlight the fact that the current situation is not fair at all by giving you one number of  the International Institute for Environment and Development IIED: if you live in a LDC country the probability to die due to a climate change disaster is 5 times higher than in any other part of the world.

Further as inequalities are interrelated, in countries vulnerability is determined by multiple factors, one of them that is critical is gender, as it was shown in the Neumayer and Plumper study that demonstrated that in countries with greater gender inequalities the possibility of dying from disaster is higher for women, however in societies where there are less gender inequalities these wide disparities are far less prevalent. 

This brings us back to the urgency of integrating gender responsive policies in the new climate agreement as they can save lives.

3.) In regard to the expert workshops: we fully support the focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency, especially being aware about the devastating consequences of high risk technologies as nuclear energy which we strictly oppose as we were reminded by the anniversary of Fukushima just 2 days ago. We also would like to remind you of the possible negative impacts of renewable energy as big hydropower plants or mono crop plantations for biofuels. 

We acknowledge that parties addressed the issue of local stakeholder engagements in their presentations as we see this – stakeholder engagement and especially public participation, including women participation – as crucial and encourage parties to continue with these discussions as it is the path towards real climate solutions. We highlighted it several times in our statements in the past that citizens are crucial for an energy transition as we have seen what the right policy measures in place like e.g. the feed-in tariff system could achieve in Germany so far – that a high percentage is owned by citizens. So maybe the next time presentations of civil society like energy citizen cooperations could be included and as well as crucial gender considerations in proposed mitigation actions.

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