IPCC's report segment on Gender, Climate Justice and Transformative Pathways

February 28, 2022

The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability was released in February. It provides information that cannot be left behind as it draws attention to the linkages between climate justice and the social justice sphere.

Emilia Reyes from Equidad de Género: Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia, is a contributing author, alongside other international experts, to the Cross-chapter box called: Gender, Climate Justice and Transformative Pathways. This Cross-Chapter box is a segment of Chapter 18: Climate Resilient Development Pathways.

The development of this box took three years of ongoing discussions. In the link we have put together a document that gathers relevant information on the intersection of gender and climate justice that was covered in the IPCC report. The section in the link includes: the Cross-chapter box “Gender, Climate Justice and Transformative Pathways”; a table making connections between gender climate action and SDG 5; as well as a table meant to exemplify gender climate action in different regions.

The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report presents a major effort to mainstream gender in every chapter, and this is in large a result of the efforts of the feminist and women’s movements around the world. The largest section on gender in the report is to be found precisely in Chapter 18 and its supplementary material. The many authors attempted to emphasize a comprehensive and structural approach. 

The very opening of the Cross-chapter box includes the key takeaways of the section, and it reaffirms the need to promote climate action bearing in mind gender equality and climate justice.

The Cross-chapter box “Gender, Climate Justice and Transformative Pathways” is an attempt to explain the way in which all these elements are interconnected. Furthermore, it emphasizes the linkages to crucial global and systemic discussion, such as the colonial legacy, the negative impacts of concentration of wealth, the historical debt of developing countries, the debt crisis, the need for a system change and many other core agendas in the interconnection of social, environmental and economic justice. The segment highlights the importance of the dimension of climate justice to achieve gender justice.

A key dimension of this segment is the centrality of structural approaches, as opposed to superficial or short-term ones: "In most regions where there are climate change policies that consider gender, they inadequately address structural inequalities resulting from climate change impacts, or how gender and other social inequalities can compound risk (high confidence)." This dimension challenges the community of gender experts as to what are the key structural entry points to achieve gender justice/climate justice? Which practices should be prioritized to achieve long-term transformation? How do we stop the purple/pink washing of the global community? How do we unveil the negative impacts of the practices of those interested in profiting and commodifying the gender equality agenda? The segment is clear: whenever a gender climate action is implemented, if it does not bring about structural transformation, then it is more likely to promote maladaptation (and therefore, it would be better to not have promoted any action at all). Our task and the implications involved are higher than ever.

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Read an extract of the report here