11 December 2012

Gambia: New Initiative On Climate Change Seeks Robust Participation of Women

Hello and welcome to the another edition of Environment, a column that features crucial elements surrounding environmental facts, challenges, stories meant to raise awareness on the devastating effects of environmental degradation, and to evoke constructive debate on better approaches to environmental protection.

In this edition, we bring on an important climate change initiativerecently launched, aimed at enhancing greater women's participation at both national and global levels.

The Doha Conference, in collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation, the UN Climate Change Secretariat, recently launched a new initiative, dubbed "Momentum for Change: Women for Results", aimed at recognising the critical role of women in fighting climate change.

The initiative will showcase activities to inform governments, media and the public at large about the crucial role of women in confronting the challenges of both adapting to climate change and curbing emissions.

The "Women for Results" initiative is part of the wider "Momentum for Change" initiative designed to highlight inspiring mitigation and adaptation actions implemented by a wide range of stakeholders at regional, national, or local levels and which can encourage governments, businesses and civil society to do more to combat climate change.

"Women have the power to make a major difference. They are at the nexus between food, water and energy. This nexus is both the challenge and the solution to climate change, and we need to ensure women's leadership in bringing about the solutions," said UNFCCC executive secretary, Christiana Figueres.

Heather Grady, vice president of the Rockefeller Foundation, pointed out that Africans are responsible for 80% of food production on the continent, and therefore need to be more involved in decisions relating to food security: "While climate change affects us all, it does not affect us all equally. Women, though disproportionately affected, are crucial agents of change," he stated.

Public-private sector partnerships

In a similar development, the UN Climate Change Secretariat, in partnership with the World Economic Forum, has also launched another initiative dubbed "Momentum for Change: Innovative Financing for Climate-friendly Investment", aimed at recognising and highlighting creative financing models that enable adaptation and mitigation activities in developing countries.

The initiative will showcase "lighthouse activities" that use innovative financing to make a difference in meeting the climate change challenge on the ground. These activities - notably public-private partnerships in developing countries - can serve as models for governments, businesses and industries looking for climate-friendly investment vehicles.

The Innovative Financing for Climate friendly Investment" initiative is part of the wider "Momentum for Change" initiative that highlights mitigation and adaptation activities implemented at regional, national, or local levels and encourages governments, businesses and civil society to do more to combat climate change.

"We are looking to highlight public-private partnerships that are underway and that are successfully putting together innovative financing solutions to address climate change. There is much creative thinking in many sectors that people can learn from and which opens the door to greater political and business ambition to tackle climate change," said UNFCCC executive secretary, Christiana Figueres.

The discussion of the conference has indicated that the initiative will also benefit from the World Economic Forum's Green Growth Action Alliance, which includes more than 50 of the world's largest energy companies, international financial institutions and development finance banks working to deliver greater investments into clean energy, transportation, agriculture and other green investments.

Dominic Waughray, Senior Director, Head of Environmental Initiatives, World Economic Forum, has explained that Catalysing investment at the scale and pace needed to address climate change is an urgent global priority. According to him, the World Economic Forum is addressing this challenge by engaging leaders from finance, government and society to define and demonstrate effective financial models.

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