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GenderCC-Women for Climate Justice at the end of COP 16
As COP 16 comes to a close, we go home ignoring Ixchel and all other goddesses of reason and undoing the tapestry that could have protected us from either an extremely hot or cold future. "Let not the perfect be the enemy of the good" has been an oft-repeated statement yet the outcome of COP 16 is not even good enough.
True, that a Green Climate Fund has been established. There was also an agreement on the Adaptation Framework. But the expectations were so low in the first place and even then gaps remain so wide.
The presence of an outcome of COP 16 can somehow be attributed to the leadership of UNFCCC Secretary General Christina Figueres and COP 16 President Patricia Espinosa, along with the constant pressures especially from civil society organizations. However, it must be noted that the more powerful of the parties consistently refuse a transformative paradigm and substance in moving the talks forward.
Somehow there is reason to be happy about the women and gender references in the final text of the Long-Term Cooperative Action. These can be found for instance in the preamble, shared vision and adaptation. However, it must also be remembered that the presence of ref-erences have not enjoyed a sense of permanence in the whole process, except for boxing women under the umbrella of 'vulnerable groups'. In other words, there is hardly progress in the way women and gender have been championed and integrated by parties.
Moreover, women and gender are sorely missing in the key topics of COP 16. Gender-balance is not even considered in the board of the Green Climate Fund nor in the allocation and spending of the fund. It will also take a long way before gender is integrated in mitigation.
Indeed the outcome of Cancun is a first step, especially when viewed from the frustrations brought by Copenhagen. But then we wonder, haven't we always been on our first step since the agreements in Kyoto in 1997?
Unless parties become truly sincere towards an ambitious, binding and just deal, it will remain difficult and even impossible for women and men to have a fair chance of meaningfully engaging in the process and surviving the climate crisis.
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