New flagship programme on energy launched at COP 21
On 8 December, the UNFCCC-designated ‘Gender Day’ at COP 21, in coordination with the Government of Morocco and in the presence of Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy of France, Ségolène Royal, and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka participated at the opening session of Gender Day at the Morocco Pavilion, entitled “Women: Active and Engaged in the Fight against Climate Change”.
“One of the missing links in a robust energy agenda today is the role of women,” said Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka during the event. “That is why the UN Women–UNEP joint programme on Women’s Sustainable Energy, Entrepreneurship and Access, officially launched at the event, will ensure that we empower and strengthen women so they can play a role at the policy level, the delivery level but also in managing the efficient use of energy at the household level.”
UN Women’s newly launched flagship Programme on Sustainable Energy, Entrepreneurship and Access will begin in Morocco, Indonesia, India, Myanmar, Senegal and Bolivia. The emphasis of the Programme is to remove the barriers that women entrepreneurs face in different countries. UN Women and UNEP will work with Governments of these six countries to systematically and sustainably remove them.
“We hope that by the time we get to Morocco for COP 22, we will have exciting case studies to demonstrate what women can do in order to become deliverers of energy in different countries, in different parts of the world were the need is greatest,” said Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka.
UN Women Executive Director and Hakima El Haite, Minister Delegate in Charge of Environment of Morocco, also signed the Cooperation Framework “Integrating Gender Equality into the Environment and Sustainable Development Sectors in Morocco”.
The opening session was followed by a High-Level Panel on Sustainable Energy Access with the participation of the Minister of International Development Cooperation for Sweden Isabella Lövin; Director of the Division of Technology, Industry and Economics for UNEP, Ligia Noroha; General Director, Energy Investment Company of Morocco, Ahmed Baroudi; and GEF CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii.
The day’s second High-Level Panel, on “Women and Climate-Resilient Agriculture”, featured UN Women Deputy Executive Director Yannick Glemarec; Director General for International Cooperation and Development Fernando Frutuoso de Melo; FAO Director of Climate, Energy and Tenure Martin Frick; and high-level representation from governments of Liberia, Malawi and Senegal. They stressed that actively addressing the gender gap in agriculture and removing key structural barriers will engine women’s economic development and empowerment, while helping to build stronger, more sustainable and more resilient communities.
The third and final panel, on “Women’s Engagement in Climate-Change Negotiations”, featured State Secretary for Women’s Rights of France Pascale Boistard; President of the Mary Robinson Foundation, Mary Robinson; Principal Adviser on Gender and implementation of UNSCR1325 for the European External Action Service, Mara Marinaki; Chair of the Women's Rights Delegation of the National Assembly, Catherine Coutelle; President of Women’s Tribune of Morocco, Fathia Bennis; and Chair of the National Human Rights Council of Morocco, Driss El Yazami. Participants highlighted the active role of women in the fight against climate change and the need for the COP 21 declaration to make strong references to gender equality.
At a lunchtime event, Parties and other participants interacted with experts on the recommendations from a recent Expert Group Meeting and exchanged views on how these can support and enhance implementation of policies and action at the regional, national and local levels.
Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka also met with UNFCCC’s “Momentum for Change, Women for Results” awardees, recognized for activities that demonstrate the critical leadership and participation of women in addressing climate change. Their activities show measurable results, which can be potentially be replicated and scaled up at the local, national and international levels
On 7 December, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka attended the COP21 Women’s Caucus. Together with the Government of Morocco, UN Women is showcasing relevant material on the theme of “women’s leadership” at the One UN Exhibit.