Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: - In a compelling call for action, Her Excellency Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, emphasized the critical need for gender equality and more support for female leadership in climate action as she inaugurated the Global Conference on Gender and Environmental Data today.

The two-day conference, held at Expo City in Dubai, is a key event within the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28).

“It is a privilege to stand before such a distinguished gathering of leaders who, every day, prioritize women’s voices, rights, and perspectives,” said Ms. Al Mubarak who is also President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and patron of the conference. “These efforts go beyond merely being heard; they strive to place gender equality and women’s rights at the heart of the movement for just climate action.

The conference is organized by the Offices of the President of COP 28 and the UN Climate Change High Level Champions, together with the UNFCCC, UN Women, IUCN, and the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO). Speakers and participants will include UN Agencies, government officials and policy makers, leaders and commitment makers of the Feminist Action for Climate Justice Action Coalition and the Gender Environment Data Alliance, private foundations, civil society organizations, indigenous leaders and local communities and academia.

“As we get ready to kick-off COP28, I am emphasizing the symbiotic relationship between climate and nature, the importance of inclusivity, and especially, the empowerment of women and girls in climate action,” said Ms. Al Mubarak.

"It is encouraging that 79% of Parties have now included references to gender in their Nationally Determined Contributions, or national climate action plans. But we know that there is a significant data gap on gender and the environment,” said said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell. “We must change that, to ensure effective planning and policy making. As we transition towards a climate-friendly, sustainable and just future we need to be guided not by assumptions but evidence."

Experts warn that climate change disproportionately impacts women and men, exacerbating existing inequalities. According to evidence by UN Women, in many countries, women are more vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change compared to men. For example, women, especially poor women, are less likely to survive climate-related disasters. Women are also less represented in environmental decision-making.

At the same time, there is a scarcity of gender disaggregated data, which is necessary to gauge how policies are affecting women and girls. For example, very few of the environment-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) include gender indicators and among those that do, data is only available for two out of ten gender-environment related SDG indicators. Gender data is also scarce for other environment topics such as climate change, disasters and conservation.

According to Ms. Al Mubarak the scarcity of data makes it hard to fully understand the impacts of climate change on women and girls and to fully account for the contribution of women to climate action. The success of decision making on finance and resource allocation also depends on the availability of reliable data, she said.

“Without data - we can never have truly gender-responsive finance and therefore, we can never truly have a gender-just transition,” said Ms. Al Mubarak.

The conference aims to culminate in a Global Call to Action, advocating for enhanced gender-environment data integration in global climate policies. The main objective will be to generate momentum for leaders to make sure gender-environment data is more systematically and intentionally included in climate action and in efforts to monitor progress on commitments on gender and the environment.

Ms. Al Mubarak also highlighted the UAE’s actions on gender equality. As part of the COP28 Gender Equality Day, the Presidency will announce a COP28 Gender-Responsive Just Transitions and Climate Action Partnership, a package of commitments on better quality, gender-specific data, securing finance directed at women, and promoting equal opportunities.


COP28 UAE:   

  • COP28 UAE will take place at Expo City Dubai from November 30-December 12, 2023. The Conference is expected to convene over 70,000 participants, including heads of state, government officials, international industry leaders, private sector representatives, academics, experts, youth, and non-state actors.  
  • As mandated by the Paris Climate Agreement, COP28 UAE will deliver the first ever Global Stocktake – a comprehensive evaluation of progress against climate goals.  
  • The UAE will lead a process for all parties to agree upon a clear roadmap to accelerate progress through a pragmatic global energy transition and a “leave no one behind” approach to inclusive climate action.”

About Razan Al Mubarak:

Elected President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in September 2021, Razan Al Mubarak is the second woman to lead the organization in its 75-year history and its first president from West Asia. She also serves as UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for the leadership team of COP28 UAE, which will take place in Dubai from November 30 to December 12, 2023. For more than 20 years, Razan has played a vital role in guiding the United Arab Emirates toward a more sustainable future while spearheading progressive environmental protection, species conservation, and climate action across West Asia and globally. Her diverse experience leading the largest environmental regulatory agency in the Middle East, an international philanthropic organization supporting species conservation projects worldwide, and an NGO focused on citizen engagement earned her recognition as one of the top 100 Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum in 2018.

For more information visit: https://www.razanalmubarak.com