On behalf of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) and together with the Belgian organisation Milieu Ltd. we conducted a study in 2012 which looked at the implementation of Area K of the Beijing Platform for Action in the then 27 member states of the European Union.
The first section analysed what had been put into place in reference to gender and climate, and in particular energy and transport politics. The second section was intended to identify good examples in the domestic politics of member states for both areas, followed by the development of an appropriate methodology. A sligtly shorted version of Part I was published by EIGE; Part II was supposed to assist with further work on this topic, but was not published.
The study primarily analysed two dimensions of the goal K.1: the participation of women in climate-related decision-making at the national, European and international level, as well as the share of women in related scientific and technical fields.
In addition, it also examined the available data and information on gender and climate/energy/transport from the 27 member states of the EU, considering how this is integrated in the development and implementation of the related policies in the domestic context.
The results were considerably lacking: even in the Scandinavian countries – otherwise champions of gender equality – no policies or concepts integrating or based on gender were found. For more detailed information, see the Tab “Results of the Gender-baseld Analysis"
The availability of information also leaves a great deal to be desired. Sound research findings are rare, which doesn’t hide the information provided by certain gender-disaggregated data, e.g. on the distribution of care work, car ownership or meat consumption. The most readily available data were from population surveys on climate change, the energy transition, consumption patterns, etc. Yet given that the difference between statements made in surveys and actual behaviour is considerable, it is only possible to identify tendencies at this stage.
A very general overview of both sections of the study - indicators of participation and a report on the state of the art - was published in various languages (Danish, English, French, German). The long version is only available in English.
Research on the policy measures of climate change policies in the transport and energy sectors at national level has revealed that none of the measures taken in the 27 EU member states has been subjected to a comprehensive gender analysis, or planned in a gender-sensitive manner. Consequently, few positive examples could be identified. This is somewhat shocking, given that both the EU and many of its member states have gender equality and gender mainstreaming policies in place.
For our more in-depth pilot studies we selected policies in countries for which at least a small amount of data was available. A short scan of gender dimensions was then conducted, revealing that the policies involved a range of gender aspects and were able to influence gender relations at very different levels. As the study mentions, however, these dimensions tend to overlap, making it difficult to separate them clearly from one another. Moreover, there are also gender dimensions that apply to almost every policy. Despite this, the analysis of the effects of policies and programs merely asks generically – if at all – whether the policies had gender impacts. This is not enough, particularly if the question is not supported by a sound methodology. Besides, addressing gender dimensions can also lead to further insights.
In the transport sector it became evident that even the in-depth analyses were not comprehensive enough. The gender dimensions in this area are often only revealed during the concrete implementation at the local level. This could not be analysed in the context of the project.
The participation dimension plays a considerable role in the energy sector, as does the level of disposable income. There are gender gaps in both areas in all EU countries. What this actually means depends on whether there are measures which accompany the energy policy programs. In general, it was clear that distributional effects must be considered during the planning of climate policies. By way of example, the costs of feed-in tariffs have to be shared by all consumers, whereas on the other hand, only those who can afford to invest in renewable energy are able to profit from it.
In this study we only took into account policies that didn’t have potentially harmful subventions or other measures that might be counter-productive for climate protection. There are indications that such subventions are better for those sectors of the population with a higher income or higher levels consumption, and also can have different impacts according to gender. This also applies for hidden subventions, such as the social or external costs which are often not taken into account. These effects of subventions are particularly evident in the transport sector. Commuting allowances, for example, help to finance investments in car purchases, as do tax exemptions or tax breaks for company cars. Other policies, such as vignettes, benefit those who drive the most (and evidence suggests that high-income groups drive much more those with lower incomes).
The analysis showed clearly that energy and transport policies can exacerbate inequalities, if a gender-based analysis in not conducted and integrated into policy design.
The methodology and results of the in-depth gender analysis have not been published by EIGE. We are therefore only able to provide general results here, rather than detailed information.