Former Irish President Mary Robinson headlined a panel discussion to mark ‘Gender Day’ at the 27e United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt. She called for a tailored climate fund to help grassroots women fight climate change and build their resilience.
The African Development Bank organized the session held during COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh under the theme, Gender-responsive and climate-just financing mechanisms.
Panelists said facilities designed to support women, which help build climate resilience, must be visible, simple and easily accessible.
“There is a problem with visibility, transparency and accountability, and although there is money flowing, we do not have a properly dedicated climate fund or a permanent climate fund to support women entrepreneurs in fighting climate change,” Robinson said.
Robinson gave the example of some women-led projects in Uganda that could do ten times more if they had access to targeted climate resources. “They had no prospect of getting the money that might be available for their sector – they didn’t even know who was getting the money or where it was going.”
Opening the session, African Development Bank Group Vice President, Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, Kevin Kariuki, said the Bank had earmarked funds for ten capacity building projects, focused on gender and climate through the African Climate Change Fund.
“Additionally, we are committing $100 million in loans to public and private sector projects to address gender and climate issues,” Kariuki said. “The Bank is also developing an adaptation facility to enable individuals and groups, including women and children, to borrow money for climate adaptation projects,” he added.
The African Development Bank organized other side events to mark Gender Day at COP27 to highlight successes, challenges and issues related to gender equality and climate change. They included the launch of the Gender in the Climate Action Acceleratora tool to help private sector companies improve the gender sensitivity of their corporate climate governance.
The accelerator will help governments promote gender-responsive climate sector policies, accelerating their green transition to achieve the Paris Agreement targets and the Sustainable Development Goals. It is a joint initiative of the Egyptian government, the African Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the French Development Agency (AFD).
In a session opened by the First Lady of Kenya, Rachel Ruto, experts agreed that as efforts for greener economies grow, the focus should be on upskilling and reskilling to help women and girls to access green jobs. The panel, titled “Enabling and monitoring the recovery of gender-responsive green jobsalso highlighted access to information for women and gender-sensitive capacity building.
The Bank also held a session on “Accelerating gender-responsive climate investments for a resilient Sahelwhich discussed good practices for accelerating gender-responsive climate finance in the Sahel.
In his address, Al Hamndou Dorsouma, Acting Director for Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank called for a more equitable distribution of climate resources in the Sahel.
Sidi Mohamed EL Wavi, Director of Climate and Green Economy at the Mauritanian Ministry of Environment, stressed the importance of removing barriers to quality education for women in order to improve their representation at all levels. .