Chairperson of Ramsco: Women are the most affected by climate change

Rawya Mansour, Chairperson of Ramsco Environmental Villages, said that she started her own project 15 years ago, where she inaugurated her own center at the Egyptian Research Center in Ismailia and since then she has been trying to produce healthy food by recycling agricultural waste and has a patent in this project.

She said in a recorded speech on the sidelines of her participation in the COP27 climate conference, in Sharm El-Sheikh recently, that she also has a patent in the green charcoal machine, which is one of the only ways to eliminate heat emission, reduce its effects, and improve the soil.

Mansour added that this project has secured full-time jobs for 30 women and that she seeks an expansion in Africa, with the help of Dr. Maya Morsy, President of the National Council for Women.

She pointed out that the most marginalized group is the female farmers in the villages, asserting the necessity to work on improving their livelihood, which is what this project contributes to by training peasant women on this method of agriculture, and helping them achieve a green economy and reduce water consumption, pointing out that each ton placed through this machine reduces the percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 2.5%, stating “We have solutions to eliminate the effects of climate change and achieve food security”.

Rawya Mansour stressed that women are the most affected by climate change, especially since approximately 40% to 80% of agricultural production is by female farmers, adding that the most obstacle facing women is the climate change crisis, especially since they can’t get the loans needed for transitioning to safe cultivation or own any land, which begs the need to give them access to micro-loans and land ownership rights.

She praised the activities of Women’s Day at the Climate Conference and how she prides the great efforts made on this day, pointing out that Sharm El-Sheikh has become superior to many international cities and brings honor to Egypt. She also praised the pavilion of the National Council for Women at the conference and the products presented by women as they reflect the extent of ingenuity and professionalism known for women.

The National Council for Women participated in a special pavilion in the Green Zone within the activities of the COP27 climate conference, which was hosted by Egypt in Sharm El-Sheikh.

The Council’s pavilion included a display of eco-friendly products by 41 Egyptian women from all Governorates, products from the National Project for the Development of the Egyptian Family workshops, and handmade products within the framework of the “Addressing economic motives for illegal immigration” project, in collaboration with the European Union. The total number of products was nearly 5000 pieces.

Furthermore, the Council’s pavilion showcased many products, including environment-friendly bags made of tamping cloth, mesh and wooden bags, crochet with different designs, products of different carpets and frames of macrame with an Egyptian heritage character, fabric pillows and linen, products of macrame and cotton inlaid with other materials, including wicker, bamboo and burlap, hand-embroidered fabric products, natural leather products, cotton and wool products, wooden decorative pieces inspired by different cultures, and products from Recycled materials, products for interior decoration, wicker and Arjun products with an Egyptian heritage character, fashion from linen and cotton materials with designs inspired by the Egyptian heritage, carpets inspired by heritage, silver jewelry and other products inlaid with silver, all with heritage designs, ornaments made of copper and others made of silver, candle products for lighting, products from recycled denim fabrics, skin and hair care products and cosmetics from natural materials.

 

Egypt’s multiple gains, contributions at COP27

Hosting the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 in the name of Africa had exceedingly benefited Egypt on a national, regional, and international level. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment stated the previous last Wednesday, the 23rd of November. 

At the international level, as per the Minister’s statement, COP27 Ministerial Coordinator and Envoy praised the country’s admirable efforts in organizing such a huge event, which highlighted the harmony between all the state’s ministries and concerned authorities, and shifted the international media’s attention to Egypt.

50,000 individuals and a variety of official and unofficial entities have attended the summit, among 120 heads of state and government, high-level representatives, vice presidents, and over 14,000 participants from COP26. 

According to Ms. Fouad, a day for solutions, a day for water, and a day for biodiversity were incorporated within the COP27 for the first time in its history. 

The conference has taken a huge step forward in negotiating loss and damage, as well as giving access to the private sector to reduce their harmful emissions. 

Moving onto the regional level, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi launched the “Advancing Adaptation Action in Africa” after succeeding to acquire an amount of $150 M of funding from the US and other developed countries, and hosting the initiative’s management unit in Cairo. Furthermore, the US has doubled its Adaptation Fund Pledge to $100 M, in line with the US Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience “PREPARE”.

And finally, on the local level, Egypt has triumphantly secured funds for its projects by signing several agreements at the value of $83 Bn, including $25 Bn from the US to finance its  Nature-based Solutions “NbS”. Germany has also offered an annual $1.5 Bn to fund biodiversity.

On top of that, state and non-state actors have given The Nexus of Water, Food, and Energy national project $10 Bn to support Egypt’s transitional phase to become a green economy. 

And lastly, the African Adaptation Initiative “AII” accepted $150 M. Founded in 205, its main target is forming a unified collaboration between high-level pan-African and regional dialogues to achieve adaptation and simultaneously address the adaptation financing gap.

 

“National for Disabilities”: Egypt presented a model to follow in applying the Accessibility Code at “COP27” conference.

“National for Disabilities”: Egypt presented a model to follow in applying the Accessibility Code at “COP27” conference.
“Iman Kareem”: reassuring people with disabilities .. The Egyptian state and at its forefront is wise political leadership sparing no effort in achieving social justice for all classes of society
Egypt has submitted a model to apply code availability to the UN Climate Change Convention COP27 held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Dr. Iman Kareem, the Supervisor General of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, said Under her eyes the formation of a positive image befitting Egypt’s position and role A hub in the Middle East region of all the countries of the world, where this conference reversed the Egyptian state making significant progress in promoting and integrating the rights of persons with disabilities with others in the society, especially the application of the code of spatial availability, which has made a significant difference in the Republic Deda.
In a press release issued by the council, Karim indicated that she looked into the available availability in Sharm El-Sheikh city in the green and blue areas during her participation in the COP27 climate summit, where she saw the availability of many availability, and found them to be of a high level of efficiency and quality. To make it more sustainable and flexible for human use Those with disabilities, among them were the availability of wheelchairs for persons with disabilities to facilitate their movement inside the conference halls, golf carts and carts equipped to transport persons with disabilities from the airport to hotels and vice versa, as well as the presence of Tada Fund cars and Nasser Social Bank In the eye of the Ministry of Social Solidarity, and Egyptian Red Crescent cars in the conference areas, Green bus powered by electricity and renewable energy, Braille printing available for visually impaired participants, offices to support accessibility in the blue and green zones.
In addition to the availability of a number of volunteers to facilitate services for persons with disabilities, as well as connecting all offices with a wireless network to coordinate among them, as well as providing 6 sign language translators inside the conference halls, the council also worked on providing a sign translator in the green zone for Tessis Communication with people with hearing disabilities and translation of conference events For them, in addition to the contribution of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to the application “Control” which specializes in instant translation of sign language.
The “Supervisor General on the Council” praised the availability applied at the COP27 conference, and the extensive Egyptian efforts that led to the successful completion of the conference in the best way and knew its success, reassuring citizens of people with disabilities that the Egyptian state and at its forefront, the wise political leadership is taking over Great interest in them, spare no effort in social justice for all Categories of society in the new republic on all levels, and the best evidence of this, tangible results that everyone sees on the ground, whether in the infrastructure built by the state, or in the provision of volunteers, or even increasing the umbrella of social support for deserving citizens, to Jan Participating persons with disabilities in international and national conferences and forums Media, as well as media campaigns as our “beautiful morals” campaign

Prime Minister discusses with International Cooperation Minister the results of her meetings and ‘international cooperation’ initiatives during the climate summit

Prime Minister discusses with International Cooperation Minister the results of her meetings and ‘international cooperation’ initiatives during the climate summit

Madbouli emphasizes the importance of continuing to strengthen multilateral cooperation efforts and consolidating partnerships between Egypt and development partners in order to stimulate national development vision and green transformation efforts.

Prime Minister Dr. Mustafa Madbouli held a meeting yesterday evening with Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister for International Cooperation, where the ministry’s activity was reviewed within the framework of the events of the UN Framework Agreement on Climate Change (COP27), which concluded its activities at Sharm el sheik city recently

During the meeting, the Minister of International Cooperation reviewed the results of her intensive meeting with multilateral and bilateral development partners, during which she looked for ways to support and strengthen joint cooperation frameworks and push the vision of national development and green transformation efforts in Egypt.

The Minister of International Cooperation cited the initiatives launched during the climate conference as a sign of the results of the efforts to mobilize facilitated development funding for the National Platform for Green Projects, the International Cooperation Programme, to stimulate green transformation and implement the National Strategy for climate change. Brotherhood, nationally determined contributions to NDCs, also took up the top recommendations of the “Sharm El Sheikh Fair Funding Guide”, which aims To stimulate climate-related funding, strengthen multilateral cooperation and international partnerships, and release the climate and development report in cooperation with the World Bank

Dr. Rania Al-Mashat reviewed the mechanisms of the “Sharm El-Sheikh Guide to Fair Funding”, launched at the climate conference aimed at stimulating the capacity of developing countries and emerging economies to attract climate investments and the tools by which it works to achieve fair climate funding through joint work of relevant parties from international finance institutions and non-purpose organizations For-profit, public and private sectors

The meeting also addresses initiatives launched to enhance the role of start-ups in the Climatech Run climate action, accelerate equal opportunity between gender climate action in cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and ongoing coordination with Alla Funds CIF climate will be fruitful to implement the investment initiative in nature and climate in Egypt

The Minister of International Cooperation clarified that “COP 27” was a real opportunity to achieve more international cooperation, create the link between development and climate change actions, assuring the continuation of work in coordination with national authorities and development partners over the next 12 months throughout Egypt’s presidency For climate conference, to advance efforts to promote national platform Green Projects has a “Novfi” program to mobilize facilitated financing mechanisms, including mixed financing and private sector investments, and to strengthen joint relationships with multilateral and bilateral development partners to support the Development State Vision 2030 and the National Strategy for Change Climate 2050

At the conclusion of the meeting, Dr. Mustafa Madbouli, Prime Minister, addressed the importance of continuing to strengthen multilateral cooperation efforts and consolidating partnerships between Egypt and development partners in order to stimulate national development vision and green transformation efforts.

COP27 closes with the deal on loss and damage: ‘A step towards justice, says UN chief

COP27 closes with the deal on loss and damage: ‘A step towards justice, says UN chief

Countries reached an agreement on an outcome that established a funding mechanism to compensate vulnerable nations for “loss and damage” from climate-induced disasters after days of intense negotiations that stretched countries at the latest UN Climate Change Conference, COP27.

“This COP has taken an important step toward justice.” “I welcome the decision to establish a loss and damage fund and to operationalize it in the coming period,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a video message from the conference venue in Egypt, emphasizing the importance of hearing the voices of those on the frontlines of the climate crisis.

Developing countries made strong and repeated appeals for the establishment of a loss and damage fund, to compensate the countries that are the most vulnerable to climate disasters, yet who have contributed little to the climate crisis.

The combat against climate change continues

Mr. Guterres reminded the world of the world’s priorities in climate action, including the ambition to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree Celsius limit and pulling humanity “back from the climate cliff.”

The UN chief also emphasized the need to make good on the long-delayed promise of $100 billion a year in climate finance for developing countries, establishing clarity and a credible roadmap to double adaptation funds.

 

ILO welcomes COP27 progress on social dimensions of climate change

The ILO presence at COP27 focused on highlighting the importance of a just transition in climate change responses, and included new initiatives on youth, financing and knowledge exchange.

GENEVA (ILO NEWS) – The International Labour Organization has welcomed the outcomes of the UN Climate Change Conference , which closed on 20 November after two weeks of discussions. The meeting, also known as COP27, produced a landmark outcome to provide “loss and damage” funding for vulnerable countries hit hard by climate disasters.

Governments attending the meeting also agreed on a package of decisions  reaffirming their commitment to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

“COP27 outcomes take the global community forward on collective action to implement policies to combat the impact of climate change,” said Moustapha Kamal Gueye, ILO Global Coordinator for Green Jobs. “The conclusions include pathways to a just transition, based on meaningful and effective social dialogue, and recognizing the role of employment policies, such as social protection, in tackling the impact of climate change.”

The ILO has been spearheading efforts to integrate the social dimensions of climate change into key international climate policy processes since the start of the COP process in 1995. During the conference, held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, the ILO oversaw more than 35 thematic events in a Just Transition Pavilion, built to focus attention on the social aspects of climate change transition and the importance of building a just transition into adaptation and mitigation processes.

Events at the Pavilion included the launch of a new “Green Jobs for Youth Pact ” initiative, which aims to help close the skills gap for young people, and the unveiling of a Just Transition Finance Tool on Banking and Investment Activities , developed together with the London School of Economics’ Grantham Research Institute, to help financial institutions embed a just transition dimension throughout their operations.

A range of ILO knowledge products were launched during COP27. These included a Just Transition Policy Brief series , designed to improve technical and policy understanding of the application of ILO’s Guidelines for a Just Transition towards Environmentally Sustainable Economies and Societies for All , and a new report on the role enterprises can play in the green transition .

The Just transition Knowledge Hub, located in the Pavilion, served as a forum for delegates to share information on how to operationalize just transition policies and practices, at company, sectoral, national and regional levels. Other events highlighted the importance of social dialogue, and issues related to social inclusion and vulnerable groups – including women, indigenous people, migrants and persons with disabilities – who risk being disproportionally affected by the transition.

The Just Transition Pavilion was jointly hosted by the ILO and the European Commission, with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) and the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It served as a hub for hundreds of delegates, including representatives from international organizations, governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations, the private sector, academia and youth associations.

Joost Korte, Director-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission, said, “we are extremely happy that with the colleagues of the International Labour Organization we set up this first ever Just Transition Pavilion. It is an important topic that we are discussing and is, what I hope, going be a very important and interesting process for all of us.”

“The global labour movement mobilised at COP27 to have an ambitious climate agreement. We need a labour focused just transition with social dialogue, social protection and labour rights at its heart. The ILO Just Transition Pavilion contributed to this effort with its many activities and high visibility,” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation.

“The ILO did a great job with the first ever Just Transition Pavilion at COP27, we’re proud to have been part of this effort to create a highly visible space for convening employers and workers and promote their experiences, challenges and priorities,” said Roberto Suárez Santos, Secretary-General of the International Organisation of Employers.

Collective Power Shines Amid a Process That Fails on Urgent Climate Action

As feminists and women’s rights advocates strategized daily to advocate for gender-just and human rights-based climate action, negotiators once again ignored the urgency of our current climate crisis.

While we acknowledge that developing countries, grassroots movements and civil society pushed forward a once unthinkable collective demand for a fund on loss and damage, and we honor the thirty plus years of advocacy and persistence to deliver this outcome, we condemn the fact that negotiators played politicking and wordsmithing at the cost of substance and action to deliver climate justice.

The achievement of a loss and damage fund in the face of such odds defines what it means to stand together and transform power,” said Zukiswa White, WGC Coordinator, South Africa. “Developing countries, and in particular those most vulnerable to climate impacts, represent the Global Majority. The leaders of movements and grassroots organizations at the forefront of the fight to protect land and life have demonstrated how we can meaningfully realize climate justice if we ground ourselves in the sincerity of our visions for a truly transformative gender, environment, and climate just world. You simply cannot have this without the kind of solidarity and commitment we have witnessed over the past three decadesNow, we must hold this process accountable to a funding mechanism that urgently delivers resources to communities whose lives and livelihoods are being devastated at increasing rates due to climate-induced loss and damage.”

However, as echoed by Carmen Capriles, Reaccion Climatica, Bolivia in the closing intervention from the Women & Gender Constituency: “We refuse to be complacent in an outcome that treats the symptoms but not the cause.” Capriles called attention to Parties’ failure to take urgent action to mitigate this crisis – to keep 1.5 alive in particular – as well as their refusal to call for the full phase-out of all fossil fuels, while allowing carbon offsetting and loopholes drive us deeper down the path of false solutions. As she noted, “we are plugging holes in a dam that’s structurally fractured and ready to break.”

No Gender Justice in the Gender Action Plan

On gender equality, specifically the expected mid-term review of the UNFCCC gender action plan (GAP), the WGC left COP27 deeply frustrated with the process and outcome.

“The WGC recognizes an eleventh hour decision under the gender action plan  but we remain deeply frustrated with the total lack of substantive review that occurred here and in the lead up to COP,” said Marisa Hutchinson, IWRAW – Asia Pacific, Malaysia. “Gender experts and women’s rights advocates were left out of the rooms while Parties tinkered at the edges of weak and vague text that failed to advance critical issues at this intersection, nor deliver adequate funding.  We demand that the social protection of women and girls in all their diversity be at the forefront of the gender and climate change negotiations of the UNFCCC.”

Notable Wins: Human Right to Healthy Environment and Reforms for Financing Institutions

There were some notable highlights beyond the fund for loss and damage. The COP27 outcomes marked the first multilateral environmental agreement to include an explicit reference to the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. This should open a path for this right to be recognized across all environmental governance.

Additionally, the COP27 outcomes call for the needed reform of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and International Financing Institutions (IFIs), challenging them to re-envision their operational models more fit for purpose for climate action, including via a focus on grants and simplified access, as well as to increase climate ambition in their own policies and financial mechanisms.

“For too long MDBs have been operating janus-faced, calling for extractive, fossil fuels-driving growth in ‘client countries’ while claiming to be the largest multilateral climate finance providers,” said Liane Schalatek of the Heinrich Boell Foundation, USA. You cannot have it both ways. Show backbone and coherence!

Gender Just Climate Solutions 

Ambitious and just climate action can only be achieved by raising the voice and human rights of the populations most affected, as well as by supporting and scaling up the solutions that center gender justice. While Parties are failing to effectively reduce emissions and ensure a just and inclusive transition, we showcase every year during COP the most exemplary Gender Just Climate Solutions to inspire world leaders on how to implement feminist climate policies.

“The solutions we celebrated this year at COP27 challenge patriarchal systems and bring forward innovative solutions for transformational change based on care and well-being, such as bridging indigenous women’s ancestral knowledge with modern science for ecosystem protection, or strengthening women’s labor rights in climate affected territories, or supporting cooperative models for a gender inclusive energy transition,” said Anne Barre, Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF), Germany.

False Solutions Reign While Human Rights Languish

Even with the small wins, this process continues to fail to meet the urgency and clarity of purpose that science and experience are calling for—a full-scale, just, equitable and gender-just transition away from a fossil fuel based extractive economy to a care and social protection centered regenerative economy.

“In a spirit of reclamation and resistance, African feminists came to COP27 to affirm our place and stake in the future that we want,” said Mwanahamisi Singano, WEDO Senior Policy Lead, Tanzania. We see clearly that those who have led the destruction of our environment, through greed and plunder, are the ones who claim to care about it the most. Positing false and dangerous solutions as progress, hiding their ongoing exploitation and accumulation with green logos, green empty press statements, and green taglines. We will continue to say no to false solutions that displace our communities that rely on unproven and harmful technologies, and that sell us an “industrial revolution.”

These failed talks are happening in the midst of ever-increasing rates of violence against environmental and human rights defenders, and in contexts increasingly unwelcoming of effective civic space.

“Negotiations at COP27 have taken place amid deepened injustices in terms of access and inclusion, with participants facing discrimination, harassment and surveillance, and concerns for their safety as well as the safety of activists and human rights defenders,” said Gina Cortes Valderama, WGC Co-Focal Point, Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF). “Instead of this being the space for guaranteeing human rights to all, it is being utilised as an Expo where capitalism, false solutions and colonial development models are greeted with red carpets while women and girls fade away in the memories of their lost land, of their damaged fields, of the ashes of their murdered.”

Even as we call out the hypocrisy, inaction and injustice of this space, as civil society and movements connected in the fight for climate justice, we refuse to cede the space of multilateralism to short-sighted politicians and fossil-fuel driven corporate interests. 

“All across these two weeks, we have engaged in a politics of collective action, solidarity and power building, working alongside allied constituencies – from Indigenous Peoples, youth and trade unions, to large and small environmental justice organizations and movements around the world,” said Bridget Burns, WGC Co-Focal Point, Director, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO). “We will never tire of our call that ‘the people united will never be defeated’ because we will never cease in our demand for climate justice.”

As echoed across our closing statements: “No climate justice without human rights – we are not yet defeated!”

Additional Quotes & Resources

Peoples Declaration

In the final days of COP27, the  Women and Gender Constituency together with different civil society movements across the world endorsed a joint COP27 Peoples’ Declaration for Climate Justice. In the declaration we call for: (1) The decolonisation of the economy and out societies; (2) The repaying of climate debt and delivery of climate finance; (3) The defense of 1.5c with real zero goals by 2030 and rejection of false solutions; (4) Global solidarity, peace and justice.

WGC Organizing

“Each day at COP27, feminists and women’s rights advocates strategized, strengthened movement building, exchanged transformative pathways to climate justice through context specific and community-led climate solutions and facilitated solidarity and joy in the face of injustice, indecisive leadership and failed hope.” – Zukiswa White, WGC Coordinator

Lack of Urgency

“Even though COP 27 was meant to be an implementation COP, what we saw were submissions that further widened the gap between lived realities of women and communities at the frontlines of the crisis and consultations that were taking place. As a result, we find ourselves having to wait until 2025 for a loss and damage finance facility as disasters mercilessly ravage the global south leading countries into greater debt, and women and children adversely impacted. We want our fair share of climate action for a crisis that we did not cause.” – Anne Songole, FEMNET Climate Justice Coordinator, Kenya

“COP27 gave us crumbs, with some concessions here and there. But these come at a very high cost of sacrificing the healing of the planet with no real carbon emissions reduction from historical and current emitters. This is unacceptable!” – Tetet Lauron, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Philippines 

Unjust Process

The fact that COP27 was happening on African soil, a continent that continues to bear the brunt of climate change was sufficient enough to have a critical and diverse representation of the marginalized constituencies especially women & adolescent girls from remote and conflict climate affected areas attend and meaningfully participate at this year’s COP” – Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo-Wondieh, Women for A Change –  Founder and  Director, Cameroon

“We must ensure that pledges of developed countries to boost climate solutions and finance come hand in hand with the commitment to fulfill their human rights obligations. We can’t keep on negotiating peoples’ rights at global climate talks. The rich must stop commodifying our rights especially women’s human rights and start paying for their ecological debt” – Patricia Wattimena, Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development

“Deliver Process Justice. Observers were consistently locked out of the negotiation’s rooms for a repeated ‘lack of sitting space’ excuse, as if they did not know how many people they have accredited. We have also witnessed painful orchestration of last-minute decisions with few parties and cooperations who could afford extra days. This needs to be called out and ended.” –  Mwanahamisi Singano, WEDO Senior Policy Lead, Tanzania.

“I am getting completely disillusioned with the way the negotiations are progressing. Year after year Parties from the world over, creating a huge level of carbon footprints gather in COP to discuss how each country should reduce their carbon emission and carbon footprint. And then there is prolonged debate on the ‘politics of words’ without actually discussing concrete action plans. Is the next COP going to be the same? But I am a woman from the south and I don’t give up. I hope that keeping in view the increasing climate crisis, I look forward to the Parties coming to Dubai with only delivery of pledged commitments, implementations and actions which are centered around cross-cutting issues of gender, human rights, life and planet.” – Kalyani Raj, All Indian Women’s Conference (AIWC)

Gender action plan

“I feel terrible that when it comes to gender issues, it becomes difficult to get commitments and yet we keep stating that it is important. How important gender issues cannot be qualified as we continue to fight for everything. We fought to get a GAP and now we are still fighting for the resources for the same implementation of the gap and the LWPG, so how truthful are we about gender? As African women and Girls, we are deeply concerned about the lack of commitment by parties as climate change continues to impact negatively on the continent thus impacting more on the women and girls” – Priscilla Achakpa, Women Environmental Programme Executive Director, Nigeria

“As a young African climate justice feminist, I came to COP27 excited to see concrete decisions to follow the intermediate review of the Gender Action Plan (GAP). I was keen to see ambitious vital texts that would draw on the recommendations of the Women & Gender Constituency. I longed for an outcome that would mandate equal and meaningful representation, leadership, and participation of women in UNFCCC’s decision-making and clear progress indicators in the next three years of the GAP implementation. A review that would strategize tangible resources and resourcing, including technical and financial, for National Gender Focal Points in a manner that legitimizes their role both at national and international climate policy decision-making levels. Rather, I witnessed restrictive negotiation processes that undermined my contributions. I observed the cunning political power play of ‘who pays for what’, at the expense of the sufferings of women and girls of intersecting diversities. I saw a weak, intangible, eleventh-hour GAP decision that merely sought to tick the box of arriving at an outcome. COP27 side-lined the gender agenda in climate action. It failed women human rights defenders, indigenous women, young women, National Gender Climate Change Focal Points and gender climate justice advocates clamoring for gender equality in climate action. – Zainab Yunusa, Climate Change and Development Activist, Nigeria

“Remarks about women and youth engagement have been regurgitated in well-crafted speeches. Promises have been made year in year out but the reality check keeps us guessing whether the implementation of the GAP is a promise that may never be achieved.  A gender responsive climate change negotiation is what we need. The time for action is yesterday” – Imali Ngusale, FEMNET – Communication Officer, Kenya

‘We are celebrating the historic establishment of the Loss and Damage Fund. Yes! It is a landmark. However, we are saddened by the outcomes of the implementation for the GAP. The GAP remains the beacon of hope for women and girls who are at the frontline of the climate crises.  A gender-responsive solution equals a true climate justice” Queen Nwanyinnaya Chikwendu, Climate Change and SRHR Activist, Nigeria

Other Outcomes

Action for Climate Empowerment → “The approval of the Action for Climate Empowerment-ACE-Action Plan has provided a glimpse of hope that Parties understand there won’t be climate justice without Human Rights. The Action Plan will help to develop capabilities to protect and enhance the rights of access to information, to public participation, and for education. The plan is coming close to an intersectional analysis focusing on the needs of children and youth, women and girls, indigenous Peoples and people with disabilities.  We regret that the collaborative ACE consultations including observers’ expertise was an exception during this COP27. We demand the same standard for all themes from L&D, adaptation, mitigation and article 6 to Gender.” – WGC ACE team (Babitha PS, Floridea Di Ciommo, Pat Bohland)

Agriculture → “The recognition of the fundamental priority of safeguarding food security and ending hunger and the particular vulnerability of food production systems to the adverse impacts of climate change are important steps at this COP. However, we are concerned with the enhancement of carbon sinks for issues of soil carbon, soil health and soil fertility instead of considering agroecology as a natural, ecosystem-based approach. While small-scale farmers and women are recognized as key-role players, it has been missed to apply a gender responsive approach.” – Ndivile Mokoena, GenderCC, South Africa

Markets → “While running out of time to keep the 1.5°C temperature goal in reach, this COP has shown once again that off-setting, the creation of loopholes, and paving the way for risky technologies through market mechanisms are more agreeable than ensuring the establishment of social and environmental safeguards, and gender-responsive solutions and action to phase-out fossil fuels.” – Hwei Mian Lim, Independent Advisor

 

COP27: On Gender Day African Development Bank rallies global support for women to build climate resilience

A panel discussion held on “Gender Day” at the COP27 in Egypt, featured Mary Robinson, former Irish president in its headline. Ms. Robinson demanded a climate fund, dedicated specifically to assist women in grassroots districts win their fight against climate change, and enhance adaptability.

The session themed “Gender Sensitive and climate just finance mechanisms” was organized by the African development bank during the COP27, through which the panel participants urged the necessity to make the facilities customized to support women handy and attainable.

“There is a problem about the visibility, transparency and accountability, and although there is some money floating around, we don’t have a properly dedicated climate fund or a permanent climate fund to support women entrepreneurs in combating climate change,” said the former president, sharing her thoughts.

Showcasing several women-led projects, she illustrated how having easy access to chosen climate resources would boost the productivity of these projects; she added “They had no prospects of getting the money that could be available for their sector – they didn’t even know who was getting the money or where it was going.”

Kevin Kariuki, African Development Bank Group Vice President Vice for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, opened the session by mentioning that the bank has initiated the fund for no less than ten capacity building project, all targeting gender and climate through the Africa Climate Change.

He proceeded “Moreover, we are committing $100 million in loans to public and private sector projects to address gender and climate issues,” adding “The Bank is also developing an adaptation mechanism to enable individuals and groups, including women and youth, to borrow money for climate adaptation projects,”

On the quest of promoting “Gender Day” and calling attention to the successes, challenges and issues surrounding gender equality and climate change, the bank hosted some gender-related events, sidelining the main events of the COP27. These events included the launch of the “Gender in Climate Action Accelerator,” a tool that helps private sector companies upgrade gender responsiveness for their corporate climate governance.

This tool will aid governments in promoting gender-sensitive climate sector policies and speed up their green transition process to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development.

Egyptian government, the African Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the French Development Agency, AFD started this initiative collectively.

The panel session, titled “Enabling and Tracking Gender-responsive Green Jobs Recovery,” opened by Rachel Ruto, Kenya’s First Lady, stressed easy information access for women to strengthen their gender-responsive capacity building. According to experts’ opinion, the focus on upskilling and reskilling, which helps women and girls get green jobs, should match the growing efforts for greener economies.

Moreover, the bank held another session, under the name “Accelerating gender-responsive climate investment for a resilient Sahel,” which debated good practices to ramp up gender-responsive climate finance in the Sahel as well.

Acting Director of Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank, Al Hamndou Dorsouma, shared his remarks, demanding an equal distribution of climate resources in Sahel.

Sidi Mohamed EL Wavi, Director of Climate and Green Economy at the Ministry of Environment in Mauritania, pushed for a quality education for women, underlining the positive effect it’s going to have on their overall representation.

 

Across the world, women are climate solution-makers

Through their discussion on policy measures for gender-equal climate policy at COP27 in Egypt, the Nordic ministers and African leaders expressed how climate policy will eyewitness the transformative influence that women’s equal involvement is going to have on international climate negotiations.

As a result of hosting the COP27 in Africa, the ongoing climate negotiation in Egypt is currently referred to as “Africa’s COP”. The continent is considered the least contributor to climate change, and the most affected by it.

Representatives from the Nordic governments, the African Union, and UN Women explored new methods to attain better equitable leadership, due to the significant portrayal of gender equality in the present climate negotiations.

Head of the UN gender equality body UN Women, Sima Bahous, noted “Globally, little funding is targeted at gender equality and women’s climate action. Moving forward, government action, including from African and Nordic leaders, must improve access to funding for gender-equal climate solutions.”

A policy guaranteeing gender equality across the board in areas of agriculture, higher education, transport and fishing needs to be reinforced, in view of the huge effect green transition is expected to have on all aspect of the society.

“On our continent, it is women who take care of the lion’s share of agriculture and who must now adapt food production to climate change. We need embark a highly attractive, climate- and gender-smart agricultural policy for the new generation of food producers,” stated Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, the commissioner responsible for agriculture and sustainable environment in the African Union.

Espen Barth Eide, Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, represented Nordic countries joined by Hanna Sarkkinen, Finland’s Minister of Social Affairs and Health; they both pointed out that the climate policy in Nordic countries are relatively “gender-blind” to this day, in an attempt to push gender-equality to be higher up on the climate agenda, on a national international level.

Hanna Sarkkinen added “I’ve read the African Union’s climate action plan and learnt a lot. The Nordic countries have made a joint commitment to put all the relevant knowledge on the table and to integrate gender equality in all the policy areas affected by the green transition. I’m working hard to implement this commitment in Finland.”

Evidentially, African women face higher risks and more dramatic consequences regarding climate change, and the direct link between gender equality policies and climate didn’t go over their head.

Praised by Head of UN Women, Sima Bahous, for being “Solution-makers”, African women continue to discover new ways to combat and adapt to climate change and diminish its negative effect on their families and children.

“Educating girls is a good way of building a society that is resilient in the face of climate change.” Said Kenya’s Director of Climate Change and Forestry, Pacifica Ogola, stressing the need for well-educated women in the process of implementing climate policy.

Africa grows green announces winning start-ups during COP27

COP27 is the ultimate platform to acknowledge sustainable initiatives and celebrate them. For that reason, the Africa Goes Green (AGG) Awards, grabbed the opportunity to announce the winning project, in the presence of Yasmine Fouad, minister of environment, Reem Abd El Meguid, co-founder of “Istidama” and Emad Hefny, CEO of “Seeders Capital”, as partner and jury member.

Thirteen local and international start-ups working in various sustainability sectors, were celebrated as winners across four categories, including five projects from Egypt, four from Africa, and four from USA, Netherlands, Canada and Spain.

Technologies that address climate change impacts, projects by women-led green medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), mitigation and adaptation green finance for banks and investors, and research centers and non-profit institutions, all fall under the categories of the award.

“We received very interesting and innovative projects with solutions in Green energy and waste, among many others.” Stated Emad Hefny, CEO of (Seeders Capital).
Adding, “Seeders future vision is to create an impact fund to invest in start-ups working in four key pillars including energy, waste, air and water. Since we are well connected to many entities, we believe this is a good platform to start from.”

Reem Abd El Meguid, Co-Founder of Istidama and Co-Founder of AGG, said: “I’m very pleased that today we are finally celebrating today true talents and potential future leaders who are adamant about creating impact and achieving footprint for a more sustainable world”. She continued, “I would also like to thank the government entities, respectful ministers, and the sponsors who supported this initiative and made it possible to see the light in one of Egypt’s most celebrated platforms today.”

“The Global Start-up Awards (GSA) Africa is about unearthing the next gen technology pioneers that can lead us into delivering climate change and development solutions that will drive meaningful impact for Africa and the globe.” Commented Jo Griffiths, Co-founder of GSA Africa.

Ramon Lopez, Distrito Digital Climate Change Program Director, pleaded: “Solutions for the mitigation and adaptation to Climate Change should be designed with a global perspective but having an impact on the local markets. The winning start-ups fulfill this requirement bringing disruptive solutions from Africa and other international countries. Climate Change District, which I represent, is an initiative that is willing to help those start-ups who want to implement their climate change solutions for the Spanish Market.”

“We plan to commercialize solutions across borders and to extend globally through seeders investors.” Concluded by Emad Hefny.

The competition held by AGG, has witnessed the participation of local and global start-ups, surpassing 200 competitors coming from all across the globe, including Africa, Asia, America and Europe. The 12 juries of the evaluation committee came from Egypt, USA, Spain, and the Republic Democratic of Congo.