GENDER AND CLIMATE CHANGE
Women and girls are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which amplify and interact with existing gender inequalities. And yet, policies to prevent and cope with the impacts of climate change rarely consider the gendered nature of these impacts.
AN INTERSECTIONAL FEMINIST GREEN NEW DEAL
The Feminist Green New Deal project set out to address this by building support for an intersectional Feminist Green New Deal in the UK. The project worked proactively with women’s organisations as well as those working on environmental, racial and social justice issues to understand and shape policies that can help provide a clear roadmap to a sustainable and equal UK economy.
GREEN AND CARING ECONOMY
The video below imagines a day in the life of a woman in the Green and Caring Economy we have set out in our report illustrating the interrelated solutions to inequality and the climate crisis:
The final report and the key messages set out the four structural changes and the policies that can be implemented to make us all happier, healthier, more equal and at the same time sustain the planet.
The project has been a collaboration between Women’s Budget Group and Wen and over the last two years we have published briefings on 6 key policy areas (Housing, Transport, Work, Consumption, Food, Care (childcare and social care) – see below) which have helped inform the final report which was published on the 10th November 2022.
FEMINIST GREEN NEW DEAL POLICY PAPERS
Policy papers include:
- Revitalising local communities and devolving power
- Rethinking housing supply and design
Gender Inclusive and Sustainable Transport Systems
Managing Risk Through Security: Social security’s contribution to tackling climate change and gender inequality
Labour Market Changes for a Green, Caring Economy
A shorter working week as part of a green caring economy
Protecting Women’s Incomes with a Green, Caring Economy (Coming soon)
- Sustainable living changes
- Greening finance and central banking (Coming soon)
- Food systems (Coming soon)
Food production, consumption and preparation is highly gendered, so taking an intersectional feminist approach is crucial for working towards a just food and climate transition.
The Food Policy Paper, published later this year, is part of a Feminist Green New Deal policy paper series and final report which outline key policy recommendations needed to create a green, caring and equal economy.
This paper proposes placing the meeting of needs at the centre of all economic, social and political activity in order to revitalise communities in a way that enables a low-carbon, gender equal future. It explores how the fundamental needs of nutrition, shelter, social participation, health, physical and income security, can be met in a way that is consistent with green and feminist aims. Read the full report
Housing is fundamental to life, security and wellbeing as well as tackling climate change and working towards a zero-carbon future. It also remains a key site of gender and intersectional inequality, with design that does not accommodate diverse needs or care responsibilities, with mortgages and rents out of reach, and a suburban ideal that requires a car for daily living and can isolate women and children in the home. Housing investment as a central part of a Green New Deal (GND) —with a commitment to full funding from central government to ensure costs are never passed on to residents or local communities – would open up an incredible
opportunity to centre a new vision of equality and care capable of transforming both landscapes and lives. It would also acknowledge and begin to address the connections between climate crisis and housing crisis, reducing housing’s contribution to the UK’s carbon footprint even as it reverses the rise of homelessness and houses the estimated 8 million people are in housing need. Read the full report
To decarbonise transport and democratise the right to safe mobility, our transport systems must be inclusive and sustainable. This paper discusses four key structural factors that create gender disparities in transport systems and must be addressed to decarbonise transport in a just and inclusive way: access to economic resources and free time, car-centric policy and planning, safety and accessibility, and the technocratic paradigm in transport. Read the full report
MANAGING RISK THROUGH SECURITY: SOCIAL SECURITY’S CONTRIBUTION TO TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE AND GENDER INEQUALITY
Social security is an important part of a package of social and economic policies which could mitigate climate change. Such policies should not disadvantage people on low incomes and women, so both environmental sustainability and gender equality must be considered. This paper focuses on the UK social security system, drawing on a more detailed social security paper for forthcoming publication by the Women’s Budget Group. Social security reforms have been discussed for many years, with no easy answers, but this paper identifies potential tradeoffs and directions to explore. Read the full report
Our vision for a green and caring economy calls for an economy and society based around principles of wellbeing and care. This will be crucial for addressing two of the biggest challenges facing us today, the climate and care crises. The end goal is a society in which environmental justice is realised alongside social justice, ensuring the transition to and the maintenance of a sustainable economy is just, fair and equal, with no one left behind. One central aspect of transitioning to a green and caring economy will be greening the labour market. Beyond greening high-polluting sectors, this will require a full transformation of all jobs to become green. Read the full report
Britain faces a number of intersecting crises, with inequalities and environmental breakdown at their core. Women continue to work longer hours than men, but men are paid for more of their work, and are paid more for their work. Meanwhile, overwork and overproduction are a direct cause of climate change – a point which is increasingly recognised around the world. In this brief, we argue that a shorter working week, as part of a wider set of policy changes, can promote gender-equal distributions in paid work, unpaid work, and income, while facilitating a green transition. Read the full report
SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE CHANGES FOR A GREEN AND CARING ECONOMY
Responding to the inequality and climate crises will involve rethinking the economy itself. The current system rests on the extractive logic that nature and human labour are there to exploit for profit and economic growth, causing gross inequality and environmental breakdown. Most politicians cling to the fantasy that we can face these crises with our current economic model, but we need a plausible, hopeful vision for a green and caring economy: one that puts wellbeing over profit.
Crucial to this is democratising the natural resources and basic services we need to survive and thrive, redefining access to land, food, energy, water, and care as rights rather than commodities to enrich global corporations. This paper sets outs some of the changes we will need to see in key sectors of our economy and the way we interact with them. It is a vision of how our lives could change for the better, rather than a policy roadmap of how to get there. Read the full report