Gendered Solutions: Markets, Technologies, Forests
Most of the current solutions to mitigate climate change, as promoted by the Kyoto Protocol, are market or technology driven. Markets geared towards GHG reduction tend to neglect other factors integral to sustainability, such as development, social justice, gender equality and poverty eradication. Women are disproportionally affected by poverty, have less income and possess less wealth than men. Women lack equal access to property, information and funds, and are less likely than men to benefit from market based solutions.
Clean Development Mechanism -CDM
To date, the Clean Development Mechanism primarily funds large-scale industry and power sector projects. Initiatives supplying renewable energy to, and improving energy efficiency of, small-scale enterprises or households where women predominate only comprise a very small percentage of current CDM projects. In this way, carbon markets fail to address social development factors like poverty reduction and gender equality.
Reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation – REDD
Undoubtedly, forests play an important role in the climate system. However, trees are not just carbon stores. Forests are home to over 300 million people who are entirely or partly dependent on forests for their livelihood.
Gender roles are reflected in the different ways women and men use and benefit from forest resources. In many countries, women’s livelihoods are directly dependent on forest resources to meet the nutritional, health, and cultural needs of their families and communities.
Therefore, any incentivised scheme that neglects the cultural and social values of forest cultures may lead to serious negative impacts on local communities and women in particular.
Any scheme for the conservation of forests should engage actors who traditionally conserve forests, in particular women and indigenous communities, to ensure that benefits reach and compensate those directly impacted, rather than those responsible for significant past and present deforestation.