Climate Chance Summit ’22 – Roundtable and Recommendations

We took part in the 2022 Climate Chance Summit: “European Green Deal: local governments, businesses and citizens at the heart of the European transition”. The summit was held in Nantes from March 7 to March 8, 2022, in synergy with the high-level meetings of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union (FPEU). We presented our concrete policy recommendations for a gender-responsive European Green Deal, as well as our network’s numerous climate solutions which contribute to a sustainable and inclusive energy transition. We also had the honour to invite our partner Anne Marie Abaagu, executive director of WEP Nigeria. She made a vibrant testimony about the climate and social impacts in Africa of the EU’s international trade policy.

This event aimed to bring together non-state actors committed to the fight against climate change. Local authorities, businesses, researchers, non-profit organisations and citizens debated with European leaders on how to improve the European Green Deal and the EU’s climate policies. The discussions resulted in concrete recommendations which will be presented to the European Parliament and the European Commission. In July 2021, the European Commission adopted a package of legislative proposals, the “Fit for 55” package, which aims to reduce the European Union’s greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030.

We co-organised, together with the European Committee of the Regions, the round table “Recommendations for a Gender-inclusive European Green Deal and EU Climate Policies”, with the interventions of Gabriele Köhler, Senior Research Associate at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, and board member of WECF Germany, as well as of Katy Wiese, Policy Officer for Economic Transition and Gender Equality at the European Environmental Bureau.

They both presented recommendations from two reports recently published by WECF : “Why the European Green Deal needs Ecofeminism”  and “A feminist European Green Deal”.

Kata Tutto, Deputy-Mayor of Budapest, and Donatella Porzi, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Umbria (Italy) completed this rich round table with relevant feminist inputs for the EU Green Deal “Fit for 55” package. Each of them are authors of reports and political “Opinions”* on the integration of gender equality in the EU’s climate and social cohesion policies.

* Opinion ENVE VII/18 by Ms Tutto: “Gender equality and climate change: towards the integration of gender equality issues in the European Green Deal”

* Opinion: ACCOTER-VII14 by Ms PORZI: “The gender dimension of structural and cohesion funds 2021-2027, with a focus on the preparation of the operational programmes” 

The 6 recommendations (see details below) resulting from the roundtable discussions will be included in the document that Climate Chance will present to the European Commission and will be resumed in the coming weeks and months by the European Committee of the Regions in its interventions to the European Parliament.

During this summit, we also presented several transformative projects led by our network:

  • FAREDEIC – Women of Argan and Rural Committed to Inclusive Economic Development and Climate, which strengthens women’s role in the energy transition in Morocco thanks to the creation of local solar energy sector through decentralised solutions.
  • EmpowerMed Empowering Women to take action against energy poverty in the Mediterranean: which raises awareness on gender inequalities caused by energy poverty and aims to strengthen local actions in 6 countries around the Mediterranean to fight against these inequalities and promote a more inclusive energy transition.
  • W4RES Women for Renewable Energy: which promotes and increase the participation of women in the renewable energy sector (applied to the heating and cooling professions) in 8 European countries.

Many participants at the Summit called for overturning the top-down approach of European public policies, and asked for the recognition of territories, and within these territories the recognition of civil society, as real drivers of the ecological transition.

The summit was the occasion to launch the publication of the new Global Synthesis Report on local climate action

Aware of the international crisis linked to the war in Ukraine, political leaders present in Nantes showed their solidarity with the Ukrainian people by solemnly co-signing a declaration that strongly condemns the military invasion by Russian forces and affirms their willingness to mobilise in order to help Ukrainian people on the spot and in exile.

Here are the recommendations from the round table “Recommendations for a Gender-inclusive European Green Deal”

  1. Overarching policies: On top of the gender impact analysis, the EU should set-up mandatory gender monitoring of the effective implementation of all EU Green Deal and Climate policies, with an intersectional approach (collect gender-disaggregated data integrating other social, economic, ethnic, migration status, ability, sexual orientation criteria / use this data in impact analysis).
  2. Link to cohesion: Introduce /promote (mandatory) social and gender equality conditionalities for the Structural and cohesion funds, the EU-GD fit for 55 policies and within the CAP subsidies, so as to support a real equality.
  3. Energy poverty: agree on a common definition of energy poverty that integrates gender and intersectional dimensions / in the housing renovation wave and integrate measures that tackle the root causes of energy/housing poverty and ensure that the costs of thermal renovation does not lead to an increase in renting prices (e.g. gender aware funding schemes as part of the renovation wave and Renewable Energy Directive).
  4. Apply mandatory gender budgeting with an intersectional lens at the European, national and local level.
  5. Include reinforced mechanisms to achieve gender balance in elected representative bodies (at European, national and local level).
  6. Direct access to EU funding for local governments dedicated to fund public transport policies that integrate strong gender-responsive measures (improving safety, affordability, frequency). The Climate Social Fund should be managed as a part of structural funds, that are of shared management