The EU’s top priorities include “a just transition to a climate-neutral economy” and “strengthening the EU’s commitment to inclusion and equality in all of its senses”, including gender equality. However, the two priorities exist in parallel and rarely intersect.
This is a problem because climate change is gendered. There are gendered differences in exposure to the impact of climate change; the ability to adapt to climate change; attitudes towards climate change; the production of climate change; and climate leadership, participation and activism. These gendered differences are cut through by other structural inequalities, including class, ethnicity, age, location and ability.
An approach which attends to the intersections between these structural inequalities is therefore essential in order to achieve a gender- and climate-just future. While awareness has been raised of connections between gender and climate change, the main EU climate policy documents are still gender blind. Unless gender equality is explicitly included in policies, programmes and projects, gender inequalities, which are deeply embedded in social norms, practices and institutions, will persist.
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