COP27: Second week opens with focus on water, women and more negotiations on “loss and damage” |

Nothing of us, without us, “ UNICEF supporter Ayshka Najib said this United Nations news Monday, while she was painting one of the colorful and collaborative artworks displayed throughout the conference’s youth pavilion, depicting the role of women in climate action.

For the young climate activist, women and girls in all their diversity have been leading the climate movement for centuries, so they shouldn’t be left out.

“They should be co-owners and programmers of the climate process, but that’s not the case now, the genre is still debated in the negotiating rooms,” he denounced.

Ayshka Najib, UNICEF youth advocate, paints a collaborative artwork in the youth pavilion.

Indeed, women and girls face greater obstacles when trying to adapt to climate change, suffer greater economic repercussions, have to endure increased unpaid care and housework in the event of disasters, and, what’s more, they are more vulnerable. to potential violence triggered by the crisis.

But as UN Women said, women are not victims and evidence suggests that their representation in national parliaments can lead countries to adopt stricter policies on climate change.

“Women and girls are essential, effective and powerful leaders in addressing the climate crisis. But they remain largely undervalued and undervalued with limited access to extension training services and the technology needed for effective adaptation to the impacts of climate change, “UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said at a women’s-focused event in Africa.

“There is a very simple and effective solution: to put women and girls in the lead,” he urged.

Mary Robinson, former Irish president and member of The Elders, addresses a United Nations Security Council meeting on conflict prevention and mediation.  (12 June 2019)

‘Strong as a dandelion’

Mary Robinson, Ireland’s first female president, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and a founding member of “The Elders”, a group of eminent leaders working to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems, also pointed out. that COP27 should recognize the leadership of women and girls.

“We understand the problems on the ground. We have a lot more empathy for them and a lot more awareness of how real they are and how much we need to take into account the gender gap of these issues, “he said. United Nations news.

Ms. Robinson explained that together with other women leaders, she started a movement to urge climate action with a feminist approach.

Their symbol is a dandelion.

“The dandelion is the only weed that grows on all seven continents. It’s very tough, you can’t get rid of that damn thing. Poets write about it… So, we want to spread the message about urgency. And we want governments in particular to listen. Many progressive companies get the urgency as much as I do, “he expressed.

The former High Commissioner is one of the signatories of a new document supported by over 200 of the world’s largest companies and prominent members of civil society urging governments to align their climate plans with the 1.5C target set by the Paris Agreement.

“It’s the governments that don’t come forward. This is the implementation COP and they are not implementing it, ”she denounced.

Women at the center of negotiations

Meanwhile, Lucy Ntongal, a Kenya gender and climate expert with the NGO Actionaid, told reporters that although she has always been mesmerized by the communities’ ability to cope with their own country, they can no longer survive.

“The priority for mothers is water and why their husbands have left the house in search of new pastures. They will take their daughters out of school to walk miles to get water. Eventually, they have to undergo female genital mutilation in order to be married. This is because the family cannot feed extra mouths, “she explained during a press conference.

A new NGO report highlights how increasing losses and damage caused by climate impacts are having devastating consequences for women and girls, including an increased risk of sexual and domestic violence.

“It is a forgotten crisis. But if we choose to ignore it, we’re telling girls that world leaders don’t care about their future anymore. Leaders must keep the voice of the girls and women of the global South, living the reality of the climate crisis, at the heart of the COP27 negotiations, as they are the best people to provide the solutions “, she stressed.

A girl walks with a container of water in the Afar region of Ethiopia.

“For water, now or never”

As Ms. Ntongal said, women currently have to travel further and further to find water, touching on the other main theme on Monday at COP27.

Human-induced climate change is not only leading to significant changes in the global water cycle, making the precious liquid scarcer due to drought and rapid evaporation, but is also increasing the frequency of heavy rainfall events, as well as accelerate the melting of glaciers.

These effects are particularly felt in developing countries. For example, in 2021 alone, there were a total of more than 100 natural events in Asia, of which 80 percent were floods and storms, according to a new report released by the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The agency also painted a troubling scenario of what the future might hold for the continent, with the glaciers of the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau, the main sources of freshwater for more than a billion people, rapidly retreating.

“For water, it’s now or never. Water is the theme we find in energy, food security, health, economy and international collaboration … We really need to change our behavior, our attitudes, our actions, our governance and the way where we organize ourselves around water, “said Henk Ovink, Water Envoy of the Netherlands, one of the countries that will lead the next UN Water Conference, scheduled for March 2023.

To be part of the solution, the COP27 presidency launched the Action on Water Adaptation and Resilience Initiative (AWARe) on Monday to promote investment in water and adaptation for the most vulnerable communities and ecosystems in Africa.

The program will work to reduce water loss, propose and implement policy methods for adaptation and promote cooperation.

About 40 percent of the world’s population is affected by water scarcity; 80% of wastewater is discharged into the untreated environment, and more than 90% of disasters are water-related, the UN Secretary-General noted earlier this year.

Typhoon Ketsana dropped rainfall for a month on a single day in Thailand.

Update on negotiations

At the start of the second and final week of COP27, Simon Stiell, UN executive secretary on climate change, reminded negotiators that people and the planet rely on the process to deliver results.

“We use our remaining time in Egypt to build the bridges needed to make progress on 1.5 [degrees Celsius]adaptation, finances and losses and damages, ”he said.

During an informal update, COP27 chairman Sameh Shoukry said that while the negotiators have concluded work on some issues “there is still a lot of work to be done”.

“If we are to achieve meaningful and tangible results that we can be proud of, we must now shift gears and complement the technical discussions with greater political commitment at a high level,” he told the plenary.

Mr. Shoukry added that the parties currently “need more time” to discuss issues related to mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, gender and agriculture and asked the co-facilitators to help them.

The COP chairman seemed confident that there would be a final document delivered on time.

“I expect very few issues to remain open by the evening of Wednesday, November 16, when the near-final text will be presented,” he said.

Later in the day, Ambassador Wael Aboulgmagd, Special Representative for COP27, reaffirmed that the Presidency is confident that the negotiations will be concluded by Friday.

Answering questions from reporters, Mr. Abougmagd welcomed the restart of the China-US climate dialogues announced at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.

‘Stop diversionary tactics’, urges civil society

Rachel Cleetus, of the NGO Union of Concerned Scientists, reiterated at a press conference that the establishment of the Loss and Damage Facility with funds that will start flowing by 2024 should be included in the final document.

He also said that the G7 Global insurance initiativelaunched at COP27 by members of this economic group to provide finance to countries affected by climate disasters, strengthen social protection regimes and climate risk insurance, it has some “useful elements” but does not replace the financing of loss and damage.

He also said it was pushed as a “diversionary tactic”.

“It seems that many rich countries, including the United States, think that getting the agenda here at COP27 is victory. It is not a result that is not a victory. And by the way, this is entirely due to the tireless efforts of climate vulnerable countries and climate justice advocates, not to mention the profound loss of life and livelihoods around the world that we have seen this year, “he said. affirmed.

Bangladesh, Pakistan and Ghana will be among the first recipients of funding from “Global Shield”, Germany, the president of the G7, announced Monday at COP27.

“The scale is completely out of order. Countries are putting money on the scale of millions and the needs they have admitted are climbing to billions and trillions, “the expert said.

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