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Climate change measures must take account of gender equality or risk further impact on women's quality of life, local and regional leaders warn  

​The EU's assembly of cities and regions calls on the Commission and co-legislators to commit to gender budgeting

Climate change has a greater impact on the poorest of society, with women and girls being particularly vulnerable and at risk of being heavily impacted by global warming and environmental damage. EU climate policy will only succeed if it fully integrates gender equality in all its solutions, local and regional leaders have stressed.

Local and regional politicians in the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) have long denounced the lack of gender mainstreaming in the EU's flagship policies. At its January plenary session, the CoR adopted a strongly worded opinion on Gender equality and Climate change: towards mainstreaming the gender perspective in the European Green Deal that calls for gender equality to be fully developed in EU climate polices and the European Green Deal. The move comes after a recent opinion calling for a similar approach to cohesion policy.

Kata Tüttő (HU/PES), rapporteur for the CoR opinion and deputy mayor of Budapest, declared: "The Green Deal is the new growth strategy of the EU, but we will not have a genuine growth without tackling gender inequalities. This is why the Green Deal is intrinsically intertwined with gender equality. There is a huge potential in cities and regions to close the gender gap, but we can only do it if we are just and listen to the needs of people. There must be a gender lens on the Green Deal and we need to show local decision makers that they are key actors to lead Europe in creating more liveable cities for everyone."

The economic and social inequalities between men and women across the EU have a knock-on effect in a wide variety of areas, including many directly impacted by EU climate policies such as transport and energy. For example, the decarbonisation of our vehicles and buildings that the EU needs to make to meet its Green Deal ambitions must not further disadvantage women and girls because they are less likely to be able to afford newer, more expensive technologies.

The CoR opinion not only calls for gender mainstreaming in climate policy but also for the European Commission, the European Parliament and the EU Council to commit to a gender-based approach to budgeting as a whole, making a clear link to gender in all EU decisions on revenue and expenditure. This is still far from the case, with the most recent legislation such as the rules governing access to EU recovery and resilience funding to help support post-pandemic growth failing to include and reference gender mainstreaming.

Background information:

A decision on a Gender Policy and Implementation Plan to mainstream gender in the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) at the global level was adopted at last year's COP26-Glasgow.


David Crous

Tel. +32 470 88 10 37


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