International climate justice, conflict and gender: scoping study

Scottish Government funded research report with ClimateXChange which concluded in 2022. It identifies areas of opportunity for policy makers to develop a gender responsive approach to international climate justice.

1 Introduction

The Scottish Government is committed to placing people at the heart of international action on climate change, and to promoting the benefits of a just transition to a net-zero society. This is manifested through its commitment to the Paris Agreement, a Just Transition, trebled support for the Climate Justice Fund (CJF), and, through this, a pledge for the loss and damage experienced by the global south due to the climate crisis.[1] In April 2019, the Scottish Government was the first government in the world to declare a climate emergency.[2] It acknowledges that "those least responsible for the global climate emergency are being affected first and most severely" and thus aims to go beyond its commitment to "do no harm" by delivering finance and other support to countries in the global south. This approach is part of the government's efforts to be a "good global citizen,"[3] through which it commits to working in partnership with others to tackle global challenges, which – as well as climate change – include poverty and insecurity. In this report we are concerned not just with promoting climate justice in situations of armed conflict, but with how climate justice contributes to peace and security more generally. Thus, rather than conflict, we use the term insecurity for the problem and security for the goal. Furthermore, by security we mean human security.

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, including through the Glasgow Women's Leadership Statement on Gender Equality and Climate Change.[4] The Scottish Government has committed in its Programme for Government to developing a feminist approach to foreign policy, and has long championed women peacemakers.[5] Integrating the Scottish Government's 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.

This scoping study informs how Scottish Government policy can contribute in a targeted way to tackling the intersectional impacts of climate change, conflict and gender and thus advance a feminist approach to international climate justice. After an outline of the study's methodology in section 2, section 3 explains how the dynamics of climate change, conflict and gender intersect and influence each other. It also introduces several potential pitfalls for policy makers: common framings found in national policies and policy discourse which the Scottish Government might want to avoid, as they contain limitations and risks. This discussion forms the basis of a new analytical framework for assessing, in section 4, the Scottish Government's, and then, in section 5, other states and substates' policy and programming, on the climate/conflict/gender nexus. The sixth and final section outlines a series of policy and programming opportunities and options for the Scottish Government.



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