The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Kelley Dennings,

New Report: Gender Equity Solutions Missing From Municipal Climate Plans

Review of 21 U.S. Climate Plans Found No Mention of Family Planning


A newly released report by the Center for Biological Diversity that analyzed municipal climate plans found that, although women and gender-diverse people are disproportionately affected by climate change, none of the reviewed plans mentioned family planning, contraception, or reproductive health solutions. Only one mentioned gender equity.

"Societies are more resilient when governments invest in women and girls," said Kelley Dennings, a campaigner at the Center. "Gender-empowerment solutions to climate change risks, like sexual and reproductive health, benefit people and the planet. Population pressure makes it even harder to meet emissions-reductions targets and recover from climate-related catastrophes."

The new report, Gender and the Climate Crisis: Equitable Solutions for Climate Plans, reviewed climate plans from all areas of the country -- representing approximately 10% of the U.S. population -- for gender-empowerment solutions such as access to voluntary modern family planning methods, comprehensive sex education, affordable sexual and reproductive healthcare options, and the creation of equitable opportunities for women. The report found that none of the plans included family planning, contraception, or reproductive health solutions and only one mentioned gender equity as a climate change mitigation or adaptation strategy.

"Women, girls and gender-diverse people are more affected by the climate emergency than men, so it's crucial for climate change solutions to include them," said Dennings. "Decreasing population pressure by providing comprehensive, convenient and affordable reproductive healthcare, including abortion, is key to mitigating the long-term effects of climate change and bolstering conservation. Supporting wage equality among genders and investing in education, literacy and training for women and girls are proven strategies, too."

The United States has an important role to play in improving gender empowerment at home and abroad. The Center for Biological Diversity recommends that local governments work within existing climate-plan structures to address gender inequality as a public health issue; educate and train government staff on gender, inclusion, and the climate crisis; collect relevant data related to gender, race, and climate change; build gender empowerment programs; and create gender advisory committees.

At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive.

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