The Right to Safe Energy
According to WECF everybody has the right to Safe Energy. Sabine Bock, WECF's Energy and Climate Change coordinator states: "Poverty forces people to burn waste (e.g. plastics, tar, oil, kerosene, and traditional biomass) indoors for heating and cooking purposes, emitting toxic fumes and causing major health problems. We therefore demand Governments to invest in safe and affordable energy devices, energy efficiency technologies and sustainable energy sources, and demand access to affordable, efficient, renewable and clean energy for all and call for education on energy efficiency, renewable energy and conservation at all social levels". Therefore WECF calls for the participation of the public, especially women, in decision making on energy sources and management.
Pro-poor financing decisions are needed
In response to a statement by UNEP's Executive Director, Achim Steiner, who referred to wise people like Burndland, who saw that environmental protection and development need to go together as sustainable development, Sascha Gabizon, WECF, stated that "here in Monaco, which is probably one of the richest spots in Europe, my hotel room is next to the helicopter platform, and there is busy traffic, but we need "wise" people at this UNEP conference to decide that we will not finance large fields of maize in developing countries to fuel the helicopters of the affluent few, but, that we finally develop climate change financing measures which benefit the poor, unlike the current CDM mechanism". She added, "this is of particular concern to women, as UN statistics show that women form the majority of the poor, and are often doubly burned, as they generally are expected to look after the ill and victims of climate change".
Gender-sensitive post-Kyoto regime
WECF is concerned about the effects of climate change and the burdens that climate-related changes and disasters put on women, men and children, including health, environmental, and economic impacts in our region and globally. Gabizon stated: "We therefore demand a strong political commitment from every Government in the world to work for a far-reaching post-Kyoto regime. This regime can only be successful if the perspectives of women are fully taken into account. Surveys show that women give greater priority to safe, renewable energy".
The WECF event tomorrow will bring together a Network of Women Ministers of the Environment and civil society representatives, to discuss key policy issues including bio-fuels, nuclear, mitigation and adaptation programs and their impact on women and the poor. The debate "HUMAN RIGHTS and CLIMATE CHANGE – THE GENDER PERSPECTIVE" will take place at the United Nations Environment Program's Governing Council meeting in Monaco, on Thursday 21, 2008. WECF will be present with a delegation including members from the network from Central Asia and the Balkans.
This event is a follow up to the Women for Climate Justice during the UNFCC Climate Conference in Bali in December and the WAVE events that took place in Belgrade, last October, during the Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference.
Interesting dates and times for the press:
The United Nations Environment Program – UNEP and Women in Europe for a Common
Future – WECF High-Level Ministerial and Women as the Voice for the Environment (WAVE) side event will be held during the UNEP Governing Council and Global Ministerial Forum in Monaco from 20 to 21 February 2008. The High-Level side event will be held on Thursday 21 February, from 12:00 – 15:00 hours, in the Green Room, UNEP Governing Council Conference Center in Monaco.
An invitation and program can be found here: www.wecf.eu
Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF)
WECF is a network of 80 organizations in Western and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia working on sustainable development, health and environment and poverty reduction. WECF strives for a Healthy Environment for All.
For more information please contact:
Sascha Gabizon, Executive Director WECF +49-172 86 37 586
Chantal van den Bossche, NL press officer +31-6 2812 9992, firstname.lastname@example.org
Johanna Hausmann, DE press officer + 49 89 232393819, Johanna.email@example.com