Tuesday, December 15, 2009

COP15: Day 8

Today I focused on women and climate change at COP15. I began the day by finalizing the language for Heads of State and delegations in regards to youth in the text. This working group is a sub-policy working group in YOUNGO that I have been working with for the past week. In addition to youth in the text, we address girls and young women in our policy recommendations.

Next, I attended the Women’s Caucus. After recapping the events of the weekend, we discussed the language for speaking to others about women’s issues. I spoke up about the importance of including “girls and young women” in the text. My message was challenged by different opinions, but it was nonetheless a good conversation.

Next, I participated in the newly formed Gender YOUNGO group with many of my WAGGGS and YOUNGO colleagues as well as a group of women from South Africa that I met at the Women’s Caucus. We will work very hard over the next few days to provide policy draft recommendations for negotiators.

In the afternoon, I attended a session by the Secretary of Energy, Mr. Stephen Chu. He spoke about the importance of standards to drive energy efficiency. I attended part of the EU Adaptation session afterwards and learned about the EU’s stance on regional adaptation strategies.

I spent the remainder of the afternoon at the “Women for Climate Justice” session. Four panelists from large NGOs including CARE, Oxfam, and the Asian Development Bank spoke about their programs and their focus on women. I learned that indoor smoke is the 4th killer of women and children in the developing world. 80% of African food is produced by women, and globally, women make up the majority of the agriculture sector. The discussions focused around the mantra, “No climate justice without gender justice.” Women are agents of change and need to be educated, empowered, and part of decision-making processes.

In the evening, I attended the daily US Youth meeting and then drafted a letter for the US negotiators on capacity building. I attached a draft proposed by Switzerland to my letter and brought it to the US Delegation office. It was exciting to meet members of the US Party at the office.

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