The RETA supports human resource and technical capacity development for implementing agencies to integrate gender analysis in national/sub-national climate change policy frameworks, strategies, and action plans and screening of emission reduction projects; for women's groups to gain co-benefits from appropriate emissions reductions technologies; and national/sub-national ministries/agencies supporting gender mainstreaming to engage in and promote more equitable benefit distribution of climate change projects and finance in dialogue with government agencies managing national climate change responses. The RETA builds on existing donor partner and/or private sector investments and NGO interventions by piloting a model to develop low carbon technology projects linked to gender-equality benefits. It will demonstrate how climate financing can provide benefits to women for their contributions to GHG reductions in addition to productive industries. The RETA complements existing interventions by providing them with focused support to engage women's groups as agents of change and access climate finance.
Host projects, private sector companies, and national programs which serve as anchors for the RETA. These include Light Engineering Solutions and African Clean Energy Limited in Cambodia, SNV's Improved Cook Stove National Program, Lao Disabled Women's Development Center, and Association for Rural Mobilization and Improvement in Lao PDR, and the National Biogas Program in Vietnam. This TA will go further by building stronger implementation partners at the local level in women's groups as well as supporting these groups to access climate financing. ADB will increase development impact and benefit shares for women to the existing clean energy value chains son several levels. These include: (1) support policy level engagement through bringing stakeholders together and supporting ministries mandated to oversee climate change responses to create a better enabling environment for projects with gender responsive sustainable development impacts; (2) inform principles and rules of revenue sharing from climate finance projects; (3) mobilize women's participation through support to women-led SMEs along the clean energy value chain; and (4) incorporation of successful elements in replication as national and sub-national programs are scaled up. Support provided will develop baselines and monitoring schemes which show concrete emissions reductions, making projects eligible for climate finance. The climate mitigation components will complement environmental improvements planned by the host projects and increase their financial sustainability. Design of pilot projects to be implemented by women's group will increase social inclusion and gender benefits.
The governments of Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam have prioritized poverty reduction and environmental management in their medium term strategic plans. In parallel, ADB has prioritized addressing social inclusion and climate change in operations. The RETA directly responds to three of the five strategic thrusts outlined in the GMS Strategic Framework; Develop human resources and skill competencies; Protect the environment and promote sustainable use of natural resources; and Enhance private sector participation and improve competitiveness. The strategic framework recognizes the need to take action on climate change mitigation through reducing carbon emissions and rewarding carbon sinks.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Climate Change Impacts are not Gender Neutral
Rising incidence of floods, landslides, drought, urban pollution, and depleting natural resources linked to climate change impacts has been observed in Southeast Asia. Climate change impacts are not gender neutral: Addressing poverty and climate change concerns cannot be undertaken without an understanding of gender differentiated rights, roles, and responsibilities of women and men. In the face of seasonal and/or catastrophic climate change events, women are less equipped to respond, due to gender roles, and often face the brunt of these events. Women and girls have disproportionately lower access to employment and income generating opportunities (limited education and skills base, lack of access to capital and markets); and socioeconomic status (lacking legal protection and ownership rights). In addition, the provision of services (clean water, waste management, household energy) and exposure to environmental hazards (reproductive work position women closer to unsafe environments) are linked to gender roles.
Women as Agents of Change in Promoting Climate Change Responses. Women are not simply hapless victims of climate change, but are powerful agents of change in promoting climate change responses as stewards and managers of water, fuel, and waste resources. Evidence, such as in Nepal and India, demonstrates that linkages empowering women as resource managers and entrepreneurs present a powerful strategy for addressing both local and global environment concerns. Despite this, there is an institutional gender blindness that renders women's participation and contributions invisible and for resource management to be incorrectly treated as gender neutral.
Climate change financing mechanisms neglect sustainable development concerns
As a result of the Copenhagen Accord, developed countries pledged to mobilize $30 billion per year in additional climate change financing until 2020 and $100 billion per year thereafter. Dedicated financing windows and partnerships have already been established. Despite increasing attention on low-carbon and climate resilient growth paths, social dimensions of climate change are little understood. Climate change financing mechanisms have been criticized for prioritizing greenhouse (GHG) emissions reductions over sustainable development concerns. A new generation of financial instruments, such as the Green Climate Fund,(GCF) promote a paradigm shift by linking sustainable development with climate change responses and integration social inclusion and gender as necessary to these responses. While vulnerable, resource dependent groups such as indigenous peoples are being taken into account in emerging policy discussions, gender concerns are increasingly commanding attention, as evidenced in the recent COP-21 global agreements and GCF climate financing instrument where gender mandate is included.
Capacity Development Needs
Capacity development of government authorities at the provincial and local levels is needed to capture, regulate and distribute the influx of climate change finance in an efficient and gender equitable manner. National women's ministries and agencies, mandated to promote women's empowerment and gender mainstreaming, are equally without expertise to engage in investments in technical sectors related to climate change.
Low-carbon technologies and access to climate change financing present gender co-benefits
The considerable funding mobilized under the existing climate change finance mechanisms provides opportunities for projects which integrate social inclusion and gender concerns. Climate finance projects can reduce the vulnerability of women to climate change by providing more secure livelihoods and access to modern technology while also reducing greenhouse gases. Further, women can spend less time obtaining fuel wood, have access to cleaner energy sources, clean water, and provide safe local environmental conditions.