Towards a New Climate Agreement – Update from June Climate Talks

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NEW YORK (30 June 2014)– From 4-15 June 2014, in Bonn, Germany, WEDO and its partners from the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA), working alongside members of the Women and Gender Constituency (WGC), attended the fortieth sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 40) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 40), as well as the June session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP).

Towards a new climate agreement

At the second meeting of the UNFCCC in 2014, Parties gathered in Bonn to make progress on the development of a new climate agreement. The 2015 agreement, being discussed under the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP), was further elaborated in parallel to continued work under the Subsidiary Bodies on implementation and scientific and technological advice, in addition to a High-Level Ministerial segment.

Stark findings of the recently released IPCC fifth assessment report were a somber backdrop to the slow pace of discussions between Parties, and the reality of insufficient commitments to combat the current climate reality.

Highlighting the urgency and massive public support for climate action, on June 6th, in parallel to the High Level Ministerial segment, more than 100 people held a demonstration outside the venue of the negotiations, a symbol of ‘walking back’ into the process which at the COP19 in Warsaw witnessed an unprecedented mass walkout of civil society, dissatisfied with the lack of urgency, ambition, and a worrying corporate capture of the discussions. The action included organizations from every continent – including trade unions, social movements, environmental groups, women and gender and youth groups, indigenous groups and NGOs.

While looming political stalemates still exist, including in terms of equity, common but differentiated responsibilities, and new, additional and actualized climate finance, many participants felt the session provided some important clarity on what the elements of a new agreement will look like, and what might be expected as outcomes in Lima. The co-Chairs will be providing a report of the inputs under the ADP to facilitate progress at ADP 2.6- scheduled for 20-25 October, 2014 in Bonn, Germany.

For more information on the negotiations, IISD has done a very complete analysis of the negotiations, including each agenda item under the Subsidiary Bodies, as well as a list of key upcoming events. In addition, Third World Network has written a series of issue updates and you can WATCH video report backs from GCCA partners during the final days of the session here.

Laying the foundation for gender equality

WEDO has produced a compilation of gender equality references and entry points in the ADP submissions and interventions in Bonn and the SB draft conclusions, which you can download here.

For WEDO and its partners in the Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) and the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA), ADP 2.5/ SB40 was an opportunity to further explore with Parties how gender equality can be effectively anchored in the elements of the new climate agreement, as well as to influence progress and implementation on new & existing agreements on gender considerations under the Subsidiary Bodies.

To support this, the Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) delivered a total of 8 interventions and presentations, at the openings of each of the working groups as well as in the Dialogue on Article 6 and the Technical Expert Meeting (TEM) on land-use. You can find all of these resources on the WGC’s NEW website www.womengenderclimate.org.

In addition, the WGC and GGCA partners and allies held several side events and actively engaged with Parties and other stakeholders/ constituencies (activities outlined below). This included discussions with a view towards Lima, working to ensure a strong outcome under the Gender and Climate Change agenda item.

Gender in ADP 2.5

Since the ADP meeting in March, Parties and groups of Parties have expressed their views on integrating gender into the new climate agreement in their submissions and interventions. These statements strongly support that gender equality should be both a guiding principle and a cross-cutting element of the new agreement. The African Group, Environmental Integrity Group, and the Independent Alliance of Latin America and Caribbean (AILAC) all made calls for this in the Bonn session.

Additional calls for gender to be included in adaptation, finance and means of implementation have come from Iceland, Norway, Mexico and the Least Developed Countries Group respectively. Gender as a cross-cutting issue for all land-use related activities under the UNFCCC also came out strongly in statements of the Technical Expert Meeting (TEM) on land-use.

Gender in the Subsidiary Bodies

Gender references were incorporated in the chairs Conclusions of five programmes, including agenda items on adaptation, considering two reports with recommendations for gender-sensitive tools and approaches. Of particular note is that the new draft conclusions under agriculture integrated ‘gender aspects’ in their assessment of agricultural systems, opening up opportunities for further submissions and elaboration of these linkages. Altogether 10 programmes discussed in this session include gender references in either earlier decisions or new draft conclusions.

Road to Lima

WEDO and partners will be actively working with Parties in the lead-up to the next ADP session in October to ensure gender is strongly reflected in future submissions and interventions, in addition to enhanced engagement with the ADP co-Chairs and the Secretariat to capture these calls as the discussions move forward. Similar efforts will be made under the ADP workstream 2, ensuring social and gender considerations in technical expert meetings on high mitigation potential actions, as well as in monitoring and further implementing gender considerations in SB decisions. If you would like to be more engaged in strategic advocacy on gender in the UNFCCC, you are encouraged to join the WGC mailing list.

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