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PROJECT: Making the case for attention to gender in climate mitigation projects

Project Reference: AAGL-0038

There is growing interest in ensuring that programmes that make use of climate finance also address issues related to gender. In truth, however, the evidence base that demonstrates that attention to gender issues can strengthen the impact and effectiveness of climate finance remains limited, and is in urgent need of elaboration. This is a particular challenge in the case of mitigation finance, which has been the focus of the climate finance delivered so far, and is likely to continue to be a significant focus for climate finance going forward. Linkages between energy, energy efficiency and transport programmes that have dominated mitigation finance pipelines and gender issues are not well appreciated by many practitioners in climate finance.

Yet, there is an emerging literature and understanding on gender and infrastructure that is likely to have many salient insights for the design and implementation of effective support for low carbon infrastructure. The links between climate finance and adaptation are somewhat better accepted, in light of the recognition that women are likely to be differentially impacted by climate change, and likely to have a centrally important role in efforts to build resilience to climate change. Correspondingly, climate funds focused on adaptation and sustainable energy solutions for the poor have placed greater emphasis on gender considerations, whereas much less attention has been paid to these issues in programming (larger volumes) of mitigation finance.

To address these gaps in knowledge on gender and climate finance issues, this project, aimed to:

  1. Develop the evidence base demonstrating that gender issues can strengthen the impact and effectiveness of climate finance, especially in the field of mitigation finance, by means of high quality research.
  2. Propose an analytical approach, drawing on the relevant literature on links between gender and different sectoral contexts (e.g. infrastructure, energy, transportation,) that makes the links between gender and mitigation finance.
  3. Disseminate new knowledge on the linkages between climate finance interventions and gender equality through a creative and effective outreach and dissemination strategy that also reinforces GGCA, WEDO and CDKN’s on-going engagement on gender, development and climate change issues.

Using the expertise from across their diverse 69-member Alliance, and in close cooperation with CDKN staff and experts, WEDO and GGCA first undertook a literature review to analyse gaps in information. From there, the project explored sectors that have effectively (or not) mainstreamed gender concerns into their mitigation finance initiatives by looking at different case studies across the global south. These case studies include a biogas for rural cooking project in Nepal, a rural electrification project in Mali, and a rapid transit system project in Colombia. Based on this analysis the team produced a research report on the gender gaps in climate change mitigation finance and presents a set of recommendations and lessons learned on how to tackle these gaps:

  • Gender mainstreaming throughout the project cycle is essential to its success since results are most effective
    when gender issues are integrated from the outset.
  • Socially disaggregated data that are intentionally gathered throughout the project cycle supports more
    effective projects. Systematic gender-focused data collection, targets, and indicators help to properly
    analyze and demonstrate the benefits of paying proper attention to gender equality in climate change
  • Economic and social co-benefits, for both men and women, help secure national and community
    support for activities that contribute to climate change mitigation, and ensure their long-term viability.
    Integration of gender equality issues affects project efficacy and impact, e.g., by improving the results
    of large-scale transport and grid-based energy infrastructure projects, as well as small-scale, off-grid
  • Gender sensitive government and institutional policies are key factors in the formulation of more
    inclusive climate mitigation measures and investments.
  • Many governments, funders, and institutions need guidance on how to incorporate gender
    considerations in ways that lead to more effective and inclusive projects, in which benefits are shared

Resources and outputs:

Research report: Financing Mitigation: Exposing gender gaps in financing climate change mitigation, and proposing solutions.

The research report is also available in French and Spanish.

Case study synthesis brochure: Financing Mitigation – Exposing gender gaps in financing climate change mitigation, and proposing solutions.

Workshop Report: Making the case for attention to Gender in Climate Mitigation Projects

Despite these insights, it is important to recognize that the focus on gender in climate compatible development projects (which strive to achieve triple wins in adaptation, mitigation, development) is just beginning. More research and analysis are needed in order to establish and document methods through which attention to gender equality can improve the overall effectiveness and long-term sustainability of climate change and development activities. An new CDKN project has taken on this challenge.  The Gender Equality and Climate Compatible Development project addresses knowledge gaps in relation to the gender dimension of mitigation, adaptation, and development, and aims to strengthen the evidence base in favour of gender-sensitive approaches.

CDKN Funding: £40,000

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Project Highlights

REPORT: Exposing gender gaps in financing climate change mitigation

This report highlights three projects that have received climate change mitigation financing and included attention to gender at some stage of their implementation: the Nepal Biogas Support Program, Household Energy and Universal Rural Energy in Mali, and the Bogotá, Colombia TransMilenio Bus Rapid Transit System. Some of the lessons drawn from these and similar projects can be helpful going forward as new efforts are made to integrate gender considerations into public and private climate mitigation projects and financing.