Gender mainstreaming in the energy sector is taking place institutionally, through national policies and reforms, and through project development and implementation. It has been a central pillar of international commitments towards achieving universal access to modern and clean energy, and is recognized as a cornerstone of the SDGs (SDG 7). Efforts at integrating gender considerations into the renewable energy sector have progressed over the years, with most of this progress taking place in small-scale, community-based projects.
The past two years have seen an important shift towards increasing gender mainstreaming in mitigation initiatives. For example, as of April 2016, 40 percent of INDCs reference women and/or gender as key considerations for the implementation of activities. In addition, there is a growing recognition that gender methodologies can support the design and implementation of climate actions, including mitigation initiatives as showcased in the UNFCCC technical paper on gender methodologies. Finally, the COP 22 Gender Decision, agreed on extending and strengthening the Lima Work Programme on Gender (LWPG), among others.
With energy production and consumption accounting for two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions, achieving both sustainable and gender-equitable development relies on low-emission energy sources, access to renewable energy options and improved energy efficiency. On-the-ground experiences reveal that gender methodologies can contribute to both energy-efficient interventions and improved women’s access to modern energy simultaneously. At this moment, as countries move from intended to actual determined contributions, understanding how these methodologies can be utilized to improve policy and project development is key.
The webinar was moderated by Ana Rojas, IUCN, and included the following presentations:
- NDCs and implementation tools shaping the post-Paris scenario with Natalie Harms, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN)
- Developing gender-responsive mitigation actions with Eric Zusman, Institute for Global Environmental Studies (IGES)
- Gender mainstreaming and identification of national climate change priorities in Peru with Carmen Arias, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Peru
The Gender Equality for Climate Change Opportunities (GECCO)* initiative is a five-year program launched by USAID and IUCN in 2014. GECCO’s overall goal is to leverage advancements in women’s empowerment and gender equality through, and for, the benefit of climate change and development outcomes. Through its series of webinars, GECCO aims at increasing knowledge and sensitization of key stakeholders in the energy and mitigation sectors as a means to advance women’s empowerment.
*The former Gender Equality for Climate Change Opportunities (GECCO) initiative is now part of a broader program, Advancing Gender in the Environment (AGENT), which aims to improve development outcomes by strengthening environmental programing through gender integration and achieving gender equality outcomes.