Gender and Urban Climate Policy. Gender-Sensitive Policies Make a Difference.
Cities are increasingly recognised as essential actors of climate change policy. Over the past 20 years, local governments around the world have developed a range of climate change policies. In low- and middle-income countries, most cities have prioritised adaptation to the noticeable impacts of cli- mate change. In recent years, some cities have also started to include mitigation actions by cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Today, numerous projects and programmes are underway to support these cities in their endeavours to tackle the impacts of climate change. In particular, international agencies and city networks offer methodologies to assist city governments with systematic action plans. In light of prevailing power relations and differences in access to and control over resources, such as land, credit and capital, women and men often have different vulnerabilities and capacities to respond to climate change. These gender differentials as well as the diverse impacts of policies on women and men are especially important at local levels. While in international climate policy, it is widely acknowledged that gender dimensions need to be addressed, most local governments do not pay attention to the diverse impacts of climate policies on women and men (see for instance: Alber, 2010; GenderCC, 2009; UNFCCC, 2012). This handbook is an effort to close this gap. It indicates ways for local governments to integrate the gender dimensions of climate change into the various stages of policy-making. The focus is on low- and middle-income countries. The handbook is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather a starting point which introduces gender concepts and gender dimensions of climate change as well as resources, tools and ideas for action to climate policy decision-makers, consultants and practitioners in local governments. Moreover, it shall assist women’s groups and other civil society and community- based organisations to get involved in local climate policy and to advocate for a gender-sensitive approach.