Harnessing climate change mitigation initiatives to benefit women

This project is completed

Climate change impacts are not gender neutral: Addressing poverty and climate change concerns cannot be grasped without an understanding of gender differentiated rights, roles, and responsibilities of women and men. In the face of seasonal and catastrophic climate change events, women are less equipped to respond and, due to gender roles, often face the brunt of these events.

While vulnerable, resource dependent groups such as indigenous peoples are being taken into account in emerging policy discussions, gender concerns are sorely missing. National women's ministries, mandated to promote women's empowerment and gender mainstreaming, are equally without expertise to engage in investments in technical sectors related to climate change.  

The "Harnessing Climate Change Mitigation Initiatives to Benefit Women" project aims to support human resource and technical capacity development for implementing agencies to integrate gender analysis in climate change policy frameworks and screening of emission reduction projects; for women's groups to gain co-benefits from appropriate emissions reductions technologies; and national/sub-national women's ministries to engage in and promote more equitable benefit distribution of climate change finance in dialogue with government agencies managing national climate change responses.

The project builds on existing ADB investments and NGO interventions by piloting a model to develop low carbon projects with gender-equality benefits and demonstrate how climate financing can provide benefits to women for their contributions to GHG reductions in addition to productive industries. It complements existing interventions by providing them with focused support to engage women's groups as agents of change and access climate finance. Host ADB and NGO projects which serve as anchors for the project. These include ADB's 'Capacity Building for Efficient Utilization of Biomass for Bioenergy and Food Security' in Cambodia and SNV's Improved Cookstoves (ICS) programme in Lao PDR. In Vietnam, ADB project teams have already raised awareness about the need for climate responsive investments. In Lao PDR, SNV's ICS programme is based on more than a year of ground work.

ADB will increase development impact and benefit shares for women to the existing value chain design on several levels. These include:

  1. Support policy level engagement through bringing stakeholders together and supporting MONRE to create a better enabling environment for projects with high community-level sustainable development impacts;
  2. Inform principles and rules of revenue sharing from carbon projects;
  3. Mobilize women's participation along the ICS value chain; and
  4. Incorporation of successful elements in replication into other provinces as the national program is scaled up. Support provided will develop baselines and monitoring schemes which show concrete emissions reductions, making projects eligible for climate finance.


The governments of Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam have prioritized poverty reduction and environmental management in their medium term strategic plans. In parallel, ADB has prioritised addressing social inclusion and climate change in operations. The project directly responds to three of the five strategic thrusts outlined in the GMS Strategic Framework:

  1. Develop human resources and skill competencies;
  2. Protect the environment and promote sustainable use of natural resources; and
  3. Enhance private sector participation and improve competitiveness. The strategic framework recognises the need to take action on climate change mitigation through reducing carbon emissions and rewarding carbon sinks.


Expected impact

The impact that the project aims to deliver is an improved access to low-carbon technology and carbon revenue financing that help improve the livelihoods of women in urban and peri-urban areas in three country pilot sites.

The project is expected to create an improved enabling environment for gender-sensitive climate change mitigation policies and finance in target country pilot sites. In doing so, its work focuses on delivering the following key outputs:

  1. Gender concerns are mainstreamed in national or sub-national climate change strategies, action plans, and mitigation plans.
  2. Effective mechanism supporting stakeholder engagement process and gender equitable benefit distribution are identified for replication.
  3. Three pilot components are successfully implemented by National Women’s Groups to develop local tools and mechanisms in order to access climate financing

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