Women in Finance Climate Action Group

The world finds itself in a dual crisis of climate change and nature loss. The effects of climate change - such as record-breaking heatwaves, major droughts, and extreme weather events have become a common occurrence on all continents, on both hemispheres. Everyone is affected by climate change and nature loss, but the poorer are most vulnerable – be it in wealthy countries or in developing economies, where reliance on nature and ecosystem services is critical to millions. 

In many parts of the world, women and girls are disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change. At the same time women hold the key to more equitable communities, more thriving economies and a more sustainable future for the planet. Yet women are still being systematically overlooked and excluded from fulfilling this potential.

We can’t solve the climate crisis without involving women. And we won’t achieve true gender equality unless we address the climate crisis. The challenges are interdependent, so our response must be coordinated.

Private capital is going to be key to mobilising the trillions required over the next three decades to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. Governments, multilateral institutions and private sector organisations all need to consider how this private capital can better incorporate gender concerns in order to ensure that these trillions of dollars needed to meet our climate goals will flow in an equitable way. Mobilising climate finance in a way that actively works to address gender inequality will be essential to transform economies and societies to be more equal and resilient in the future. 

The Women in Finance Climate Action Group is a collective of women leaders from business, the public sector and civil society – who have come together to consider what more can be done to improve gender equality when designing, delivering and accessing climate finance.

We can’t solve the climate crisis without involving women. And we won’t create equality for women unless we address the climate crisis. With so much at stake, it is negligent beyond belief to ignore the impact on half the world’s population and the contribution women can make.

That is why I’ve convened a group of female leaders in finance to consider what more can be done to improve gender equality when designing, delivering and accessing climate finance.

COP26 Report: Recommendations for gender-smart climate finance

At COP26 in 2021, the Group launched a report setting out four tangible actions that are needed in private finance and beyond to support both climate action and gender equality:

  1. Improve women’s inclusion within the financial system and ability to access climate finance
  2. Integrate gender into public and private climate policy frameworks
  3. Develop gender metrics and integrate them into climate finance reporting
  4. Improve gender-balanced representation in key-decision making roles on climate finance

Discussion paper: Metrics for gender-smart climate finance

Throughout 2022, the Group is exploring how financial institutions can better assess, measure and report on the gender-responsiveness of their climate-related investments, products, and services. To embed gender-smart climate action at the core of private finance, standardised metrics and reporting frameworks must be developed and widely adopted. More data is needed to measure the impact (positive or negative) that specific climate investments or project financing may have on women and girls. Once we can measure this, financial institutions will be able to better mainstream gender equality and drive change.

COP27 Call to Action on Gender-Smart Climate Finance

GenderSmart, the Women in Finance Climate Action Group and the 2X Collaborative have launched a call to action for the financial sector in advance of COP27.

The signatories call on allocators of public and private climate finance and other key stakeholders in the financial system to take urgent action to improve gender equality when designing, delivering and accessing climate finance.

The letter is intended to motivate all allocators of capital, as well as other key stakeholders in the climate finance value chain, to make new commitments, and launch new initiatives to support gender-equitable climate finance.

Applying a Gender Lens to Climate Investing: An Action Framework

This Framework, developed by the Women in Finance Climate Action Group in partnership with Oliver Wyman, 2X Global and the 30% Club, is designed to help financial institutions to embed gender considerations into their climate investment decisions, to both mitigate the disproportionate impact of climate change on women and support women as change makers in the net zero transition. It is designed specifically for private institutional investors given the key role the play in financing the net zero transition. The framework provides practical guidance on target outcomes, key organisation and investment process changes, and metrics for gender-smart climate investing.