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2023-12-04 at 17h04

COP28: Portugal wants a just transition in gender issues also

By signing the Women 4our Climate manifesto, Portugal undertakes to include women in all stages of environmental policy, fostering equality.

On the day of gender equality at COP28, celebrated on Monday, 4 December, Ana Fontoura Gouveia, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate signed the Commitment Letter – Women 4our Climate manifesto on behalf of Portugal. 

This is "a commitment to actively include women in all stages of environmental policy, fostering equal opportunities and strengthening women’s leadership role in climate action", the Secretary of State explained. 

"When designing and implementing public policy, it is fundamental to acknowledge that climate change, climate degradation, and natural catastrophes affect women and girls is vulnerable areas in a disproportionate manner", Ana Fontoura Gouveia claimed in her speech. "These crises amplify the risks they face, including violence, discrimination, and scarcity of resources", she added. 

For the Secretary of State, it is urgent to "integrate the gender perspective in the policies and programmes relating to responding to climate change and mitigating the risks of catastrophes. It is crucial to address these issues in an encompassing and effective manner".

This manifesto is an initiative steered by Business as Nature, a non-profit association set up to respond to the commitments undertaken by the parties during COP20, in the Lima Working Program on Gender. 

The Commitment Letter was signed during the event Women 4our Climate: From Portuguese Speakers to the World hosted by the association and opened by the United Nations Under Secretary-General Jorge Moreira da Silva and the Portuguese Secretary of State for Energy and Climate, Ana Fontoura Gouveia. 

"Africa, and African women and girls in particular, are highly vulnerable to the crises triggered by climate change and are also impacted disproportionately by the difficulties of access to energy", Ana Fontoura Gouveia noted. "The CPLP, as a platform to exchange knowledge and best practice among nations that share the Portuguese language, sets itself up as a valuable tool in the joint response to the interconnected climate change and gender inequality challenges I spoke about."

The letter was also signed by Angola, Brazil, and Cape Verde this afternoon in the Portuguese pavilion at COP. Ana Paula Carvalho, the Minister of Environment, signed for Angola, the National Secretary of Peoples and Traditional Communities of the Ministry of Environment singed for Brazil and, for Cape Verde, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Miryan Vieira. 

The Secretary of State also announced that at this COP, Portugal will sign the declaration for a just transition that includes the gender perspective, an initiative by the COP Presidency and the United Nations. "It is not a perfect text, but it is an important step in acknowledging gender issues in the transition process" Ana Fontoura Gouveia stated. 

"Portugal has also taken decisive steps to foster women taking part in the political and budgetary decision-making process and increasing Government’s accountability on equality commitments", the Secretary of State claimed, referring to the 564 measures to reduce gender inequality that are on the State Budget for 2024. 

Ana Fontoura Gouveia also indicated the European Union’s strong commitment to foster a just transition that increases women’s participation in all stages of decision-making relating to adaptation, mitigation, and funding. "This concern has been stated on the European Council Conclusions preparing for this COP".