As climate change is anthropogenic, ie. caused by humans, climate-related changes, individual behaviour and social conditions interact in a range of ways. People’s socio-economic status, background, age and also gender are all factors that influence their consumption and mobility patterns, as well as their access to jobs and their political influence. Climate change therefore has different impacts on different groups of men and women, as well as on gender relations.
Women are underrepresented in all levels of climate politics and climate research, which distorts the perspective of mitigation and adaptation measures. Equal access to new fields of employment is also not assured.
At the same time, studies show that gender relations are linked to gender-specific consumption and mobility patters, resulting in differing ecological footprints for women and men. For example, there are considerable differences in the amount of meat and dairy consumed by men and women on average (a factor which is not to be underestimated in the context of climate change), whether they take public transport, and how often they use electronic devices.
The effects of climate change also have an impact in different ways: more (unpaid) care work is required, for example, when the health impacts of more frequent extreme weather events or natural disasters increase.
Other important questions include considering possible gender-related differences in terms of how the problem of climate change is seen, what kind of solutions are favoured (eg. technical solutions vs. life style changes), and how the risks involved with climate change are perceived.
The key messages developed in the project are available in english here
The project aimed at contributing to the development of strategies for climate protection as well as to climate change adaptation that integrate equitable opportunities. This involved:
- Networking and providing assistance for key actors, women scientists in climate research, mitigation and adaptation,
- Continuing the development of existing instruments used to address gender in climate mitigation and adaptation,
- Using existing knowledge in the field of gender studies to shape climate-related technical and social transformative processes,
- The transfer and further practical development of the findings relating to equitable opportunities that emerged from the research partnership “nordwest2050 perspectives for climate-adapted innovation processes in the metropolitan region Bremen-Oldenburg in north-western Germany”.
What did the project involve?
- Workshops with experts from the field of climate mitigation/adaptation, as well as gender experts, who will discuss and develop practice-oriented courses of action for equitable opportunities to be integrated into climate research and politics,
- The creation of a German competence and expert network,
- The development of an interactive communication platform, as well as a brochure containing the results of the project and guidelines for implementing equitable opportunities in the field of climate change,
- A concluding conference in February 2016 with (international) experts from research, politics, administration and the field.
01.04.2015 to 31.05.2016
Carried out by:
University of Bremen, Sustainability Research Center (artec), in collaboration with GenderCC - Women for Climate Justice e.V., Berlin
University of Bremen: Melanie Böckmann and Karin Fischer
GenderCC: Ulrike Röhr
The project was supported by funding from the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) with the grant number 01FP1425.