The Scottish Government has put justice at the heart of its ambitious policy agenda and programme of action to fight the global climate emergency. In its climate policy and international engagement, the Scottish Government is already a strong voice calling for a gender-responsive approach and women's participation. Integrating its visions for climate justice and a feminist approach to foreign policy is an opportunity to demonstrate powerful leadership in shaping a new feminist approach to international climate justice.
Climate change, conflict and gender are mutually reinforcing dynamics that interact to destroy lives and livelihoods, especially for the most disadvantaged. From an analysis of Scottish Government work to date, and best practices in international policy and programming, this report suggests strategic policy opportunities through which the Scottish Government could boost its global roles in climate justice and gender equality, and contribute to peace and security.
To overcome limiting conceptual framings which have become prominent in recent years, we consider how to:
- draw connections between climate change and conflict that avoid thinking of climate change as a threat to national or state security, but instead frame climate change as undermining human security and human rights; and
- develop policy and programming that not only aims to address the gendered impacts of climate change and conflict, and increases the participation and leadership of women, but also contributes to transforming the economic system that is driving climate change, conflict and gender inequality.
The framework in figure 1 sets out the levels of action required to achieve a feminist approach to international climate justice. This framework can be used to analyse policy in Scotland and beyond.
Building from the Scottish Government's strong base, this scoping study identifies a range of priorities and entry points to ensure its development strategy more systematically and meaningfully engages with the relationships between climate change, conflict and gender inequality. The opportunities are discussed with reference to how they respond to the action needed at each level and summarised in table 1.
|Opportunity||Level 1: Addressing gendered impacts of climate change||Level 2: Increasing women's participation and leadership||Level 3: Transforming economic systems|
|1. Centre economic justice in climate justice||Increased climate finance and a fairer global economic system is a prerequisite for poor countries and communities to be able to address the gendered impacts of climate change||Climate finance should fund an increase in women's participation and leadership in climate decision making A fairer economic system can lead to and requires women's participation and leadership||Increased climate finance, if raised through Fair Shares analysis, is part of a fairer economic system that sees historical emitters paying for climate change A fairer economic system tackles climate change, insecurity and gender inequalities at the root|
|2. Use the Climate Justice Fund and International Development Strategy to support just, inclusive and sustainable feminist economies||Initiatives that model alternatives to extractivist, polluting development, such as regenerative land use, can help communities address the gendered impacts of climate change||Initiatives that model alternatives to extractivist, polluting development can and should centre on the participation and leadership of women||Initiatives that model alternatives to extractivist, polluting development are an essential part of demonstrating the potential of more just, inclusive and sustainable economies at scale. Work to share knowledge of just, inclusive and sustainable economies with partner governments, contributes to fairer, feminist economies globally.|
|3. Empower women peacebuilders and environmental defenders to advocate for economic transformation||Building the capacity of women activists to advocate on economic justice and climate finance could enable root causes of the gendered impacts of climate change to be more effectively addressed||Adding economic justice and climate finance dimensions to the training and support provided to women activists would further enhance their skills, knowledge and power to lead||Adding economic justice and climate finance dimensions to the training and support provided to women activists would progress the overall goal of transforming economies to more just, inclusive and sustainable models - through the work of women peacebuilders/activists.|
|4. Advance gender equality through all Climate Justice Fund and International Development programming||Using gender mainstreaming to ensure all CJF and IDF programming advances gender equality contributes to addressing the gendered impacts of climate change in a systematic way||Gender mainstreaming by definition increases the participation and leadership of women, as one part of advancing gender equality||This policy option contributes to a transformation of the economic system only in an indirect sense, in that empowered women may go on to call for these more transformative steps|
|5. Leverage partnerships at home and abroad and continue to learn||Scottish Government and partners continuing to learn about the mutually reinforcing dynamics of climate change, conflict and gender will enable the gendered impacts to be addressed in more systematic and sustained ways||Continuing to learn can contribute to increasing women's participation and empowerment, as women researchers, practitioners and policy-makers share best practices and implement feminist climate justice policies||Continuing to learn about ways in which just, inclusive, sustainable, feminist economies address climate change at root, build peace and facilitate gender equality enables the Scottish Government to take an informed lead in progressing a global transition to a fairer economic system|
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