Gender-sensitive policies are needed to tackle the climate crisis, which has led to an increase in violence against women, the federation of women’s movements (Pogo) said on Monday.

Women should be more involved in environmental decision-making because they are more negatively affected by climate change than men, the Akel-affiliated organisation said in its statement marking the World Environment Day.

“We are living in a period when the consequences of climate change threaten the survival of the planet and are of concern to humanity,” Pogo said.

Those consequences have a chain effect on the quality of people’s lives, undermining the development prospects of countries, acting as multipliers of forced displacement and deepening existing inequalities and gender discrimination, the organisation explained.

Cyprus is inevitably affected by the consequences of the global environmental and climate crisis.

But the effects of climate change have a disproportionate impact on women. “The discrimination suffered by women in all sectors and in all societies makes them more vulnerable to radical changes such as global warming and its consequences, as they have less capacity to adapt and react,” Pogo said.

Energy poverty has a particular impact on women, especially single mothers and pensioners.

“The deepening of gender inequalities as a result of the climate and environmental crisis is also leading to an increase in cases of domestic violence, sexual exploitation and all forms of gender-based abuse,” the movement said.

Thus, to halt the speed at which the climate and environmental crisis is occurring, it is vital to integrate the gender dimension into all relevant policies.

Parties to the UNFCCC have also recognised the importance of involving women and men equally in UNFCCC processes and in the development and implementation of national climate policies that are gender-responsive by establishing a dedicated agenda item under the Convention addressing issues of gender and climate change and by including overarching text in the Paris Agreement.

As for the specific moves needed to reduce emissions and limit the global warming to 1.5C, the Green Party said Cyprus needs a coherent energy policy.

This policy should be based on energy savings, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources to achieve a renewable-based economy by 2050.

“The solutions are already within our grasp and offer enormous environmental, economic and social benefits, as well as health benefits. Legally binding restrictions remain the most effective measure to reduce pollution and polluting practices,” it was added.

The dependency on fossil fuels should gradually come to an end, as renewable energy sources should be boosted to ensure 45 per cent of electricity generation by 2030. Energy consumption should also be reduced by 40 per cent over the next 15 years and.

For its part, Diko said green transition can be achieved without sacrificing economic growth.

Cyprus should comply with the European obligations and stop paying fines for greenhouse emissions, Diko said and reiterated its proposals for a sustainable development. These include the adoption of measures to tackle climate change, the creation of programmes to promote green and blue professions and close cooperation of local communities to protect the natural wealth.