The Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality

On 15 November, a high-level event on how the green transition can take place on equal terms for women and men will be hosted by Espen Barth Eide, Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment, and Josefa Sacko, African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture.

 

In different parts of the world, women and men are affected differently by climate change – but climate policy in itself also affects gender equality

Since the green transition will influence every aspect of society and the economy, policy that embeds gender equality systematically is needed, from agriculture to higher education, from transport to fishery.

What might such political leadership look like? This is the core question at this official COP27 side-event taking place in Sharm El Sheikh in conjunction with UN climate negotiations on 15 November from 13.15 to 14.45 (Eastern European Time

Essential to understand the equality dimension

– The green transition must be just for all, regardless of gender, age, race, political, national or social origin or socio-economic status. As politicians, we’re responsible for making it essential to understand the equality dimension in the climate debate, says climate- and environment minister Espen Barth Eide.

– By joining forces with the African Union on this event, we can share valuable knowledge and experience on the interlinkages between climate change and gender equality across the regions.

Reversing the trend is critical

African countries realised early on that climate and gender equality policies must be closely linked.

– Climate change disproportionately affects women in Africa, exacerbating existing inequalities. Reversing this trend is critical if we are to achieve the demanded development outcomes. To that end, we don’t just expect gender mainstreaming to be central to the negotiations at COP27, but we’ve also made it a key priority within the African Union, says Josefa Sacko, African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment.

“Gender blind” national climate policies

In the Nordic countries, the effects are not as clear, but there are known gender differences when it comes to environmental footprint, influence in international negotiations, as well as differences in participation in the green transition and in the industries where new technical climate solutions are being developed.

Although the Nordic countries are considered to be among the most gender-equal in the world, their national climate policies have, until recently, been gender-blind.

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Earlier this year, the Nordic governments made a joint commitment, A Green and Gender-Equal Nordic Region, with the aim that Nordic climate and gender equality policies will continue to strengthen one  another.  

In its latest plan for sustainable development, the African Union has also pointed out the central role of women in climate efforts at all levels of society. 

On 15 November, leaders from the two regions will meet to exchange their experiences and political initiatives for gender-equal climate policy. 

This official COP27 side-event is open to all via live-streaming and to in-person participants at the climate conference. French interpretation is available for in-person audience only.

Members of the panel are:

  • H.E. Espen Barth Eide, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway and Chair of the Nordic Council of Ministers
  • H.E. Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy & Sustainable Environment
  • H.E. Hanna Sarkkinen, Minister of Social Affairs and Health, Finland
  • Hon. Roselinda Soipan Tuya, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment and Forestry, Kenya (tbc) 
  • H.E. Sima Sami Bahous, Executive Director, UN Women (tbc)

Moderator: Chika Oduah, journalist and moderator with Moderate The Panel