At MENA Climate Week in Riyadh, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28 Razan Al Mubarak announced support to advance women’s representation and gender parity at the upcoming climate summit in the United Arab Emirates.
During a “Gender and Climate Change in the Middle East” event at MENA Climate Week, Ms. Al Mubarak touched on the importance of listening to diverse voices and introduced new measures by the COP28 Presidency to ensure an inclusive climate conference:
“Historically, the perspectives and leadership of women have been underrepresented in many spheres of public life and climate diplomacy is no exception. The COP28 Presidency is mobilizing for an inclusive COP. These steps to support women’s leadership and participation get us closer to our goal and, I believe, will also have a positive impact on future rounds of the climate talks and on climate activism in general.”
The COP28 Presidency’s new measures will provide financial support to a Night School for Women Delegates, run by Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), as well as financial support for the Global Conference on Gender and Environment Data, run collaboratively by COP28, UN Women, WEDO, UNFCCC, IUCN and UN Climate Change High Level Champions. The event will also host the Arab Women Leaders’ Summit with WiSER on December 4 to explore the critical relationship between gender equality and climate action.
Ms. Al Mubarak, who is also President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), reaffirmed the importance of including women at all levels of climate action:
“The gendered aspects of climate change are not widely known, yet they deserve our attention – climate change is by no means gender neutral. Few people know that women and girls, comprising 70 percent of the world’s poor, are disproportionately affected by climate change. For example, they are 14 times more likely to die in climate-related natural disasters. They are also less able to access relief and assistance once disaster has struck.
“Getting more women involved and giving them the tools to showcase their perspectives and participate in finding the solutions will ultimately yield stronger outcomes that benefit everyone.”
The latest announcement builds on Ms. Al Mubarak’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, which includes another recent announcement of plans to ensure indigenous voices are heard at COP28.