Activities at India Pavilion on December 08, 2015, Le Bourget, Paris


















In a significant session at the India Pavilion today, at the Conference of Parties (COP) 21 Climate Summit, eminent panelists gathered to deliberate upon ‘Women, Gender Equality and Climate Change.’ Women and children in poverty are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, despite their disproportionately low contribution to the problem. Few countries in the world are as vulnerable to the effects of climate change as India is with its vast population that is dependent on the growth of its agrarian economy, its expansive coastal areas and the Himalayan region and islands. And it has now been recognised that the burdens of climate change fall disproportionately on the poor and on women – and poor women are the worst impacted.


The inaugural address at the session was delivered by Hon’ble Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar, where he also released a photo document titled Women in the Frame. Highlighting the important role that women can play in sustainable development, Shri Javadekar said, “The world has not utilised the synergies and energies of half the world’s population as much as it should have. We recognise the need for greater women’s empowerment and their role in nation building. Gender equality and women’s empowerment are important aspects of India’s path to sustainable development. We are hopeful for a just climate agreement here at Paris, which will help make women less vulnerable to climate change.”


Key speakers at the event included Dr. Vinitaa Apte, President, TERRE Policy Centre, Ms Safak Muderrisgil, Vice President, Energy Efficiency Association, Turkey; Ms Karuna Singh, Country Director, Earth Day Network, Ms Aditi Kapoor, Director, Alternative Futures; and Mr Rajendra Shede, Chairman, TERRE Policy Centre. The session saw the launch of an international alliance for women and energy.


Ms Safak Muderrisgil, Vice President, Energy Efficiency Association, Turkey, who is part of the global alliance with TERRE, raised awareness about effective and efficient use of energy through the Energy Lady project in Turkey that empowers women on issues of energy efficiency at home. She said, “Energy is the most expensive commodity in the world; not only in economic terms but also because of carbon emissions. Energy efficiency precautions are the most efficient options in the long run for the reduction of dependence on petrol and natural gas imports.”


Ms Karuna Singh, Country Director, Earth Day Network, said, “India has some remarkable legislation that gives women at the grassroots level opportunities in decision making and governance.” She highlighted the Panchayati Raj system that allows for at least 33% mandatory representation of women in governance. Earth Day Network trains women panchayat leaders to take educated environmental decisions and document their achievements. They work towards demystifying environmental concepts like climate change for women panchayat leaders.


Disclaimer: This video has been developed by an external organisation. The correctness of the facts mentioned therein is therefore the responsibility of the owner of the video.





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December 11 Valedictory, 2015


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