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Girls' education in climate strategies: Opportunities for improved policy and enhanced action in Nationally Determined Contributions

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In an analysis of 160 NDCs and 13 NAPs, we find that national climate strategies are not paying attention to issues of girls' education, children's rights, intergenerational equity, or education.
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Girls’ education in climate strategies
Opportunities for improved policy and enhanced action
in Nationally Determined Contributions
Christina Kwauk
Jessica Cooke
Elisa Hara
Joni Pegram
GLOBAL ECONOMY & DEVELOPMENT
WORKING PAPER 133 | December 2019
Christina Kwauk is a fellow at the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings
Institution| Christina's research focuses on gender equality in education for sustainable
development, and 21st century skills and youth empowerment. She has published on girls'
life skills education for transformative social change, the inclusion of menstrual hygiene
management in national education policies, as well as the intersection of girls' education and
climate change. Christina is a co-author (with Gene Sperling and Rebecca Winthrop) of What
Works in Girls’ Education: Evidence for the World’s Best Investment.” She has also published
on a wide range of topics in sport, education, and health. At Brookings, Christina manages
the Echidna Global Scholars Program and leads the Center’s research on girls’ education.
Jessica Cooke is the resilience and climate change specialist at Plan International | Jessica
provides technical and policy expertise on climate change and resilience. She works at a
global level to support strategic thought leadership on climate change and resilience in Plan
International’s priority thematic areas and delivers expertise and training in these subjects.
Her specific focus is on the impact of the climate crisis on girls’ rights. She closely follows the
UNFCCC climate negotiations, especially those related to girls’ rights.
Elisa Hara is a climate change advisor at Plan International Finland | Elisa has supported the
federation’s understanding of the linkages between climate change and girls’ rights, as well
as formulating policy stances. Currently she is also coordinating parts of Plan International’s
climate work globally, including climate change themed research.
Joni Pegram is founder and director of ProjectDryad.org and conducted this analysis on
behalf of UNICEF | Joni is an adviser to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on
climate change, and works closely with key actors such as UNICEF and international NGOs to
advance child rights in the UNFCCC climate talks and other key fora. Project Dryad also co-
leads the Secretariat of the Global Initiative for Advancing Children's Right to a Healthy
Environment.
Acknowledgements
The authors gratefully acknowledge Cristina Colon (UNICEF); Sharon Goulds and Marisa Muma
(Plan International); and Amanda Braga, Zhen Li, and Sarah Painting (Brookings) for their
contributions to this paper. We are grateful for Rebecca Winthrops comments on earlier drafts
of this paper and would also like to thank Fred Dews for his assistance with the editing and
Katherine Portnoy (Brookings) for her work with the design of this paper.
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and
policy solutions. Its mission is to conduct high-quality, independent research and, based on
that research, to provide innovative, practical recommendations for policymakers and the
public. The conclusions and recommendations of any Brookings publication are solely those
of its author(s), and do not reflect the views of the Institution, its management, or its other
scholars.
Girls’ education in climate strategies:
Opportunities for improved policy and enhanced action
in Nationally Determined Contributions
Overview
Climate change is the most significant intergenerational equity issue of our time. Children and
future generations are bearing, and will continue to bear, the brunt of its impact on a polluted,
degraded planet. The social and regional impacts of climate change are not distributed
equally or evenly, and this inequality increases vulnerability. This paper looks at how the
intersecting vulnerabilities of age and gender shape the impact of climate change on girls and
young women in particular and asks two questions:
1. Do climate strategies include adequate attention to social protection, and the inclusion and
empowerment of vulnerable groups?
2. Do climate strategies include sufficient attention to girls’ education, specifically, and to
inclusive, quality, gender transformative education, more broadly?
Based on an analysis of 160 Nationally Determined Contributionscountry-level climate
strategies to reduce emissions and adapt to the effects of climate changeand thirteen
National Adaptation Plans, the answer is no. The findings suggest countries have a long way
to go.
Only one country’s NDC makes a reference to girls’ education and two additional
countries refer to girls explicitly, a reflection of a larger omission of children/youth
and education in climate strategies.
Only 67 of 160 NDCs (approximately 42%) include a direct reference to children or
youth and only eight to intergenerational injustice or future generations.
Top 20 carbon emitting countries were least focused on education and children.
Those countries that do attend to issues of intergenerational equity tend to be
“young” countries—countries with a large under-15 populationand climate-
vulnerable countries.
Overall, findings from this study suggest that the spirit of the Paris Agreement for climate action
to attend to issues of fairness, equity, and justice is not translating into country-level climate
strategies.
The alarming speed at which the planet approaches climate catastrophe suggests countries
do not have the luxury of time. National climate strategies must step up their ambition in terms
of technical solutions and, crucially, pay more attention to the key sociological underpinnings
driving climate change in order to uphold human rights, and especially the rights of children
and future generation. One route is to incorporate greater attention to girls’ education—
immediately.
Girls’ education in climate strategies
1
Introduction
In the fight to combat the climate crisis, the years 2020, 2030, and 2050 will be important
ones for humanity. Under the Paris Agreement, ratified in 2016, 196 states and the European
Union have agreed to keep the rise in global temperatures this century to well below 2°C higher
than pre-industrial levels, and to take all measures to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C. Such a
goal aims to divert the devastating effects that unchecked global warming will have not only
on human society but also on the planetfrom the loss of human life and destruction of
infrastructure due to rising sea levels, more frequent heat waves, and intensified storms, forest
fires and droughts, to widespread extinction of plant and animal species and the collapse of
entire ecosystems.
In order to achieve the goals set forward by the Paris Agreement, the United Nations’
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has projected that countries must achieve
the target of net-zero anthropogenic carbon emissionsthose caused by human activityby
the year 2050. To reach this benchmark, global emissions must fall by at least 45% from 2010
levels by the year 2030.
1
In 2015, countries submitted their Nationally Determined
Contributions (NDCs),
2
or their national strategies to reduce emissions and adapt to the effects
of climate change. However, analysis suggests that the collective efforts behind these NDCs
will lead us to fall well short of the Paris goals.
3
Stakeholders committed to the success of the
Paris Agreementand the survival of human civilizationare now focusing on the year 2020,
when countries have the opportunity to communicate new or updated NDCs.
4
Box 1: NDCs and NAPs
Nationally Determined
Contributions (NDCs)
NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national
emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change
National Adaptation Plans
(NAPs)
NAPs identify medium- and long-term adaptation needs and
strategies and programs to address those needs.
Source: UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), n.d.
Importantly, under the Paris Agreement, parties also agreed that climate action should be
taken in a manner that “respect[s], promote[s], and consider[s]” countries’ obligations to
uphold “human rights, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities,
migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations, and the right
to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational
equity.”
5
It is in this context that the present analysis of NDCs emerges. Because NDCsin both their
aspiration and implementationare essential for ensuring that global efforts lead to net-zero
emissions by 2050. It is imperative that they include the most comprehensive and inclusive
mitigation efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as adaptation efforts, which
1
IPCC 2018.
2
Prior to countries formally ratifying the Paris Agreement, their NDCs were considered intended nationally determined
contributions (INDCs).
3
Du Pont and Meinshausen 2018; UNEP 2015.
4
See for example, Fransen et al. 2017.
5
Paris Agreement 2015.
Opportunities for improved policy and enhanced action in Nationally Determined Contributions
2
attempt to adjust human and natural systems in response to actual or expected climate
impacts in an attempt to moderate or avoid harm. This means not only addressing the
technical sources of carbon emissions or the development of low-carbon technology and
renewable energy, but also the sociological factors like poverty, gender inequality, the denial
of human rights, and low quality of education that contribute to the systemic drivers of climate
change.
6
It also means ensuring NDCs address the multifold pathways for increasing
intergenerational human (and non-human) resilience and adaptive capacity.
Climate crisis and social justice
Research suggests that NDCs and other climate strategies have a long way to go in terms of
balancing technical and sociological concerns.
7
For starters, NDCsand climate finance
8
continue to overemphasize contributions made by large-scale mitigation activities, which tend
to be both highly technical and high-tech. This is despite efforts by the Paris Agreement to
increase attention to adaptation efforts (activities that attempt to help natural or human
systems adjust to and/or transform in response to climate change), which tend to be more
sociological in nature.
Second, sociological considerations within NDCs tend to stop at the politics of the economic
statei.e., politics between developed and developing economiesleaving little space for
challenging social power structures (including gender) that increase the risks and
vulnerabilities to climate change more severely for some groups than others.
9
This is despite
the spirit of the Paris Agreement to address climate change through the lenses of justice,
equity, and fairness.
10
Recognizing, for example, that developing countries did little to
contribute to present day emission levels, the Paris Agreement posits that developed countries
must bear the responsibility of leading efforts to reduce emissions while supporting the
mitigation and adaptation efforts of developing countries.
11
As such, a high proportion of NDCs
of developing countries have contributions that are conditional upon receiving international
support (e.g., finance, technology transfer, and capacity building).
12
Such “moral responsibility” by wealthier countries and “solidarity” with poorer countries
suggests that other social equity concerns like gender equality, children’s rights, and the right
to education for the most disadvantaged might also be priorities woven throughout NDCs. After
all, it is the Paris Agreement’s attention to justice, equity, and fairness that makes it more than
a climate treaty, but rather a sustainable development agenda on par with, complementary to,
and intertwined with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
13
Yet, while the Paris
Agreement is the first multilateral environmental treaty to address issues like gender equality,
the empowerment of women, intergenerational equity, and the rights of children (among other
human rights “obligations”), a plethora of research suggests that a deeper attention to
6
Kaijser and Kronsell 2014; Roberts 2001; WHO 2011.
7
UNFCCC 2019.
8
Climate Policy Initiative 2018.
9
Carlarne and Colavecchio 2019; Jernnas and Linner 2019.
10
Indeed, the Paris Agreement is the first instrument of international climate change law that references, albeit conditionally,
the concept of climate justice. See Carlarne and Colavecchio 2019 for more elaboration on how the Paris Agreement treats this
concept.
11
For a more comprehensive discussion of how concepts of justice, equity, and fairness are interpreted in the Paris Agreement
and by NDCs, see Carlarne and Colavecchio 2019; Caney 2009; Roberts and Parks 2007.
12
Pauw et al. 2019.
13
Northrop et al. 2016.
Girls’ education in climate strategies
3
fairness, social equity, and climate justice is not often translated into country-level climate
policies.
14
This paper seeks to unpack this gap further by focusing on policy attention to girls’ education
and girls’ rights in national climate policies—in particular, NDCs and NAPs which, in theory,
should be correlated with other national climate policies. Although the immediate need is to
cut down emissions in wealthy countries, girls’ education—including sexual and reproductive
health and rights, education, and informationhas been recognized by researchers as a key
longer-term solution to drawing down carbon from the Earth’s atmosphere as necessary as,
for example, solutions like industrial recycling, solar farms, or reducing food waste.
15
With the
2020 NDC renewals around the corner, it is imperative that countries are made aware of the
critical gaps in their current NDCs and NAPs, as well as the opportunity to “multisolve” in their
next iteration. More specifically, this means solving multiple problemssuch as climate,
gender, lack of educational opportunities, and developmentthrough a single investment of
time and money, in this case girls’ education.
16
,
17
Indeed, it is the mutual and reinforcing goals
of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Agenda that suggest simultaneously
addressing climate and gender equality goals is an easy win for aligning NDC ambition and
implementation around justice, equity, and fairness.
Why girls’ education?
When it comes to the sociological dimensions of climate change (e.g., geographical location,
poverty/class, race, etc.), gender is cross-cutting. Climate vulnerability and its consequences
not only reflect existing gender inequality; they also reinforce and exacerbate socially
constructed relations of power, norms, and practices that constrain progress toward gender
equality in both developed and developing countries.
18
This includes gender roles and
responsibilities that confine women’s activities and mobility to the home; traditions and laws
that limit women’s access to natural, financial, and social capital, and thus their ability to cope
with climate shocks and to adapt to climate change; and norms that inhibit women’s ability to
access information, knowledge, skills, and capacity building that could be life-saving during
and after a weather-related disaster.
19
As a result, women and girls experience heightened social, economic, and health impacts of
climate change, both in the context of slow-onset disasters like droughts or weather-related
emergencies brought on by floods, storms, and heatwaves.
20
Not only does evidence suggest
that women’s mortality rates are higher than men’s during climate-related disasters, women
are also more likely to experience human rights abuses including: human trafficking as well as
sexual violence in temporary shelters; disruptions in their access to important health services
including family planning or maternal and postnatal care; interruptions in their participation in
income-generating activities due to their role in post-disaster clean-up and recovery; and
14
Alston 2014; Holvoet and Inberg 2014; Huyer 2016; IUCN 2016; Jernnas and Linner 2019; Terry 2009.
15
Hawken 2017.
16
Sawin 2018.
17
For additional analytical frameworks that can help to illuminate the intersecting dynamics of climate change with multiple
forms of inequity, see Kaijser and Kronsell 2014; Malin and Ryder 2018.
18
Dankelman 2010; David and Enarson 2012; Easton 2018; Goodrich et al. 2019.
19
Bhadwal et al. 2019; Cameron et al. 2013; Nelson 2011.
20
Nelson et al. 2002; Nelson 2011; Swarup et al. 2011.
Opportunities for improved policy and enhanced action in Nationally Determined Contributions
4
reductions in their intra-household bargaining power, among many other documented impacts
on their well-being.
21
When age is added to considerations of genderthat is, if the focus is specifically on girls
there is another layer of vulnerability and impact through which climate change intersects.
22
For instance, adolescent girls are at additional risk of being pulled out of school to help
alleviate extra domestic burdens, like fetching water, that are shouldered by women in
households under climate-related stress.
23
Leaving school also makes girls less likely to be
informed about climate change and further increases their vulnerability. Girls are also at risk
of being married off early in an attempt by households to manage the financial burdens and/or
female safety concerns borne by the environmental hardships and aftermath of weather-
related disasters.
24
Such circumstances put into play the early onset of key life transitions,
including early pregnancy, that function to direct girls into a vicious cycle of intergenerational
poverty, vulnerability, and marginalization.
Research conducted by Plan International in Bangladesh and Ethiopia asked girls what would
most help them deal with the causes and impacts of climate change. Girls stated three clear
priorities:
25
Greater access to quality education to enhance their knowledge, skills, and capacity
to adapt to and reduce the risks of climate change.
Greater protection from gender-based violence in response to the risks exacerbated
by disasters and a changing climate, including child labor, child marriage, and sexual
violence.
Greater participation in climate change adaptation decision-making and risk
reduction activities.
It is important to note that in most discussions of gender and climate change, attention to girls
has been absent. This is in part due to climate policy-makers failing to adequately consider
children as important stakeholders, beneficiaries, agents of change, or communicators of good
practicea state of affairs that is then replicated by climate decision-makers in climate policy
and action.
26
Because climate change is already impacting children and young people
disproportionately and will have an even greater impact on future generations,
27
it is
imperative that their needs, vulnerabilities, rights, and agency be taken into account, and that
they be consulted on and included in the decisions taken by today’s adult generation. As such,
in this paper’s attention to girls, we attempt to draw greater attention to issues of
intergenerational equity in climate policy.
28
This will help to ensure NDCs created or renewed
in 2020 recognize the rights of present and future generations of children, who have done little
compared to adults in contributing to present and future levels of greenhouse gases, to live
out their lives on a healthy planet.
21
Cannon 2002; Easton 2018; Gerrard 2018; Neumayer and Plumper 2007.
22
Back and Cameron 2008; Johnson and Boyland 2018); Swarup et al. 2011; Plan International, Australian Youth Climate
Coalition, and Oaktree 2015.
23
CARE 2016; Chigwanda 2016; Swarup et al. 2011.
24
Ahmed et al. 2019; Alston et al. 2014; Rashid and Michaud 2000.
25
Swarup et al. 2011.
26
Gautam and Oswald 2008; Mitchell and Borchard 2014; Mitchell et al. 2008; Nelson 2011.
27
UNICEF 2015.
28
Stone and Lofts 2009.
Girls’ education in climate strategies
5
From the above overview of the intersections between gender and climate change, it is clear
how gender inequality and climate change can be mutually reinforcing. Yet, research also
demonstrates how gender equality, especially through the achievement of universal girls’
education and girls’ rights, can be a powerful force against further environmental damage and
climate change.
29
Specifically, studies suggest that girls’ education can help mitigate against and adapt to
climate change in three ways:
30
1. A quality education functions to enhance girls’ “green skills” that not only increases
their resilience and adaptive capacity to climate change, but also prepares them to
participate in and lead in traditionally male-dominated green sector jobs.
31
2. An empowering education can increase girls’ opportunities for leadership and
decision-making, both of which are highly correlated with pro-environmental and
sustainable outcomes.
32
3. A transformative education that includes comprehensive sexuality, reproductive
health, and puberty education with attention to issues of gender and power, can
increase girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights outcomes.
33
This has the
primary benefit of increasing girls’ right to control their own reproductive lives, and
the secondary benefit of contributing to declines in fertility rates in contexts with the
highest rates of unmet need for contraception and where women have the least
control over if, when, and how many children they will have.
34
More generally, and perhaps more importantly, the achievement of universal girls’ education
and girls’ rights would represent a fundamental, and progressive shift in the social fabric and
global political economy currently fueling the climate crisis. An emerging body of literature
illustrates how the same social systems that have traditionally excluded, marginalized, and
discriminated against girls and women while upholding hegemonic masculinity are the same
social systems that have viewed the planet as an object to be exploited and profited from
through control, domination, and extraction.
35
Thus, a society that has achieved gender
equality vis-à-vis girls’ education would have also achieved a level of social transformation of
the root causes of vulnerability to climate change (e.g., gender norms, attitudes, behaviors,
and relations of power) necessary not only to change social relations but also our human
relationship with the more-than-human world.
36
For instance, studies indicate a strong correlation between the enhanced political and social
status of womenwhich is predicated on girls achieving at least minimum levels of education
and their human rights being recognized by othersand better outcomes for the planet, in
terms of reduced levels of anthropogenic carbon and increased protected land areas.
37
Moreover, in the context of climate crisis, achieving gender equality improves outcomes for
families and communities. When girls are better educated and included in decision-making,
families and communities are better able to plan for, cope with, and bounce back from
29
Kwauk and Braga 2017; Lutz et al. 2014; Muttarak and Lutz 2014; Muttarak and Pothisiri 2013.
30
Kwauk and Braga 2017.
31
Kwauk and Braga 2017; Muttarak and Striessnig 2014; UNDP 2012.
32
Lv and Deng 2019; Mavisakalyan and Tarverdi 2018.
33
Haberland 2015.
34
Atkinson and Bruce 2015; Potts and Graves 2013; UNFPA 2017.
35
Johnsson-Latham 2007; Jordan 2019; Nagel 2015; Pease 2016.
36
Johnsson-Latham 2007; McKinney and Fulkerson 2015; UNDP 2012.
37
Ergas and York 2012; McKinney and Fulkerson 2015; Norgaard and York 2005; Nugent and Shandra 2009.
Opportunities for improved policy and enhanced action in Nationally Determined Contributions
6
economic shocks triggered by environmental events. In addition, mortality and injury due to
drought, floods, and other weather-related disasters could be reduced by more than half.
38
However, such an understanding of the interlinkages of gender in/equality, environmental
risks and vulnerability, and our resilience and adaptive capacity to climate change should not
be taken as reason to instrumentalize girls’ education as a means to an end. Girls’ education,
girls’ rights, and women’s empowerment are ends in themselves.
Given the evidence above, national policies that address climate change must address
sociological issues like gender inequality through greater attention to quality, empowering, and
transformative education for girls. Climate strategies that are “gender-blind”—or, that do not
take gender into considerationcan inadvertently exacerbate gender inequality.
39
By contrast,
climate action that is gender-sensitive, gender-responsive, and gender-transformative can
bring about the systems-level change needed, not only to eliminate gender inequality, but also
to achieve a sustainable, just, equitable, and fair human society.
40
This paper attempts to illuminate how countries are doing with regard to such climate
strategiespromoting education, protection, and empowermentby focusing on two key
questions:
First, recognizing how gender and age place girls at a double disadvantage when it comes to
populations with heightened vulnerability to climate change, do climate strategies include
adequate attention to social protection, and the inclusion and empowerment of these
vulnerable groups?
Second, recognizing how education, specifically of girls, and the achievement of gender
equality more broadly, contribute in powerful ways to humanity’s ability to reverse climate
catastrophe, do climate strategies include sufficient attention to girls’ education, specifically,
and to inclusive, quality, gender transformative education, more broadly?
Our analysis will provide a baseline from which we can track progress in national policies to
combat climate change on the crucial issues of gender equality, girls’ education, and the
empowerment of marginalized groups.
Methodology
To answer these questions, we mapped a set of key terms in 160 Nationally Determined
Contributions in English, French, and Spanish to garner how much attention countries are
giving to girls and education (see Table 1).
41
38
Blankenspoor et al. 2010; Striessnig et al. 2013.
39
Ahmed 2019; Women Deliver 2017:3.
40
GPE and UNGEI 2017; Plan International 2019; An approach that is gender-sensitive is one that recognizes the important
effects of gender norms, roles, and relations. A gender-responsive approach not only considers gender norms, roles, and
relations, but also takes measures to actively reduce their harmful effects. Finally, a gender-transformative approach tackles the
root causes of gender inequality by reshaping unequal power relations; For a theory of change linking gender-sensitive
adaptation to broader goals of gender equality, see also Pearl-Martinez 2014. See also Opiyo et al. 2016:187; Solís et al. 2019.
41
Data were provided by Plan International and UNICEF, with some additional data collected by Brookings to fill any gaps.
Marisa Muma and Elisa Hara from Plan International conducted keyword searches for and text analysis of girl-, education-, and
child-related terms in 152 NDCs and 9 English-language NAPs. For the purposes of their analysis, they excluded countries
whose NDCs were not uploaded on the UNFCCC NDC registry. Joni Pegram from UNICEF conducted keyword searches for and
Girls’ education in climate strategies
7
The NDCs analyzed for this paper were submitted in 2015 by countries as Intended Nationally
Determined Contributions (INDCs) ahead of COP21, or the 21st session of the Conference of
the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Paris. Most
INDCs subsequently became binding nationally determined contributions (NDCs) upon the
respective country’s ratification of the Paris Agreement. All NDCs are up for revision in 2020,
and countries must submit their new or updated NDCs 9 to 12 months prior to the relevant
COP.
42
To get a broader sense of attention to girls and education in other national climate policies,
we also mapped key terms across 13 National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). The Cancun
Adaptation Framework (COP16, Cancun) laid the foundation for the promotion of adaptation
measures in developing countries that are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change
through international cooperation and support mechanisms. National Adaptation Plans were
intended to help reduce the vulnerability of least developed countries to the impacts of climate
change by building adaptive capacity and resilience. As such, NAPs foreground a country’s key
climate vulnerabilities, especially in its enabling environmenta view that lends itself toward
a more sociological approachand should be kept constantly in review. To date, only 13 NAPs
have been submitted to the UNFCCC’s NAP portal.
43
As the number of NAPs increases they
will provide crucial information for researchers in determining progress and priorities in
national adaptation.
text analysis of education- and child-related terms in 160 NDCs6 of which were found outside of the UNFCCC NDC registry
and 13 NAPs. Brookings cross-checked the data from Plan International and UNICEF on education- and child-related terms for
internal rater reliability, as well as any discrepancies in conclusions from the qualitative analysis of the contextual usage of the
terms. Where there was disagreement in the two analyses by Plan International and UNICEF, Brookings conducted an
independent analysis to resolve the conflicting conclusion.
42
For the NDC registry, see UNFCCC n.d. “Interim NDC Registry.” At the time of writing, only one country (Marshall Islands) had
submitted their second NDC to the NDC registry. We reviewed Marshall Islands’ first NDC submission.
43
For the NAP portal, see UNFCCC n.d. “National Adaption Plans.”
Opportunities for improved policy and enhanced action in Nationally Determined Contributions
8
Table 1. Key term search
44
**Extracted only when relevant to children/youth
44
For some key terms (e.g. girl), the authors searched all 160 NDCs and 13 NAPs; the final data set is a result of combining,
reconciling, and/or supplementing original analyses by Plan and UNICEF. For other key terms (e.g. skill), the authors searched
152 NDCs and 9 NAPs, drawing on original analyses conducted by Plan.
Girls’ education in climate strategies
9
Upon counting word frequencies of key terms in each NDC and NAP (e.g., the number of times
a term appears in any given document), a text analysis was conducted on the nature of and
context in which the term was used. For example, additional analysis of the context in which
the term “education” was used allowed for further analysis of the child-sensitiveness of NDCs.
Those NDCs that are categorized as having a “substantive” reference included the term in a
manner that is explicitly linked to children/youth or to child/youth-related topics (e.g., primary
school infrastructure). Those that were categorized as “passive” implicitly referred to
education without directly acknowledging children (e.g., public education).
As mentioned above, NDCs (as well as NAPs) are particularly important vehicles on the road to
reversing the climate crisis as they set national ambition in five-year increments. Key
stakeholders in the creation and revision of NDCs and NAPs from the climate community
include the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement, the Least Developed Countries
Expert Group, the NDC Partnership,
45
the World Resources Institute, and many agencies within
the UN, including the UNFCCC, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, and UNICEF. In addition, other key NDC
stakeholders include National Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) Focal Points, the
YOUNGO ACE Working Group, as well as specific members of the education community such
as the Global Partnership for Education and the Education Commission, which must be made
aware of the gaps and opportunities for more ambitious climate policy and action through
greater attention to education in climate strategies. In particular, gaps must be filled in climate
policy in terms of its attention to social protection and the inclusion and empowerment of
marginalized groups as agents of change, including girls in developing countries, in order to
ensure countries achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
Findings
In this section we present the findings of our analysis of NDCs under three key headings:
1. The use and prevalence of the terms “gender” and “women.”
2. References to “children” and “youth” with a particular focus on “girls.”
3. The positioning of the role of education.
We also discuss how countries overall are attending to these terms based on their population
demographics, carbon emissions, and climate vulnerability.
1. While gender is present, climate strategies portray women primarily as victims
Even in countries where women’s agency in other areas is acknowledged, the narrative of
climate change primarily places women as passive recipients of support rather than active
providers of solutions.
Our analysis reveals that 43% of countries’ NDCs (65 of 152), reference the term gender or
women (see Figure 1). Countries ranking in the top third of the 2019 Equal Measures 2030
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Gender Index (e.g., countries characterized with higher
gender equality along 14 of the 17 SDGs) are the least likely to include references to gender
(only three NDCs: Uruguay, Mauritius, and Georgia). However, as countries move lower in
45
Notably, the NDC Partnership’s new Gender Strategy does not give explicit attention to ensuring NDC strategies include
considerations at the intersection of gender and age (e.g. girls). See NDC Partnership 2019.
Opportunities for improved policy and enhanced action in Nationally Determined Contributions
10
rankings on the SDG Gender Index (i.e., countries doing worse on issues of gender equality
across the SDGs), references to gender in NDCs increase: 16 of the middle third, and 25 of
the bottom third ranked countries include references to gender.
46
This is perhaps indicative of
the impact of stakeholders invested in improving gender equality in these respective countries
through gender mainstreaming in relevant policy structures.
Figure 1: References to gender in NDCs
While 36 NDCs position gender as a cross-cutting issue, women are portrayed in the majority
as a vulnerable group (18 NDCs), often in the context of the country’s broader sustainable
development strategy rather than in relation to climate specific policies.
47
The next major
positioning of women is as beneficiaries of support (six NDCs), or, more positively, as agents
of change (six NDCs). In the minority are discursive constructions of women as stakeholders
(two NDCs) (See Table 2).
48
Table 2. Country NDC positioning of women in the context of climate change
Beneficiary (6)
Agent of Change (6)
Stakeholder (2)
te D’Ivoire, Eritrea,
Republic of The
Gambia, Mali, Niger,
Papua New Guinea
Cameroon, Comoros,
te D’Ivoire, Costa
Rica, Sri Lanka, and
Uzbekistan
Mali, Panama
In Uzbekistan’s NDC, for instance, a table summarizing its measures to help ensure the
adaptation of the social sector to climate change includes a reference to women positioned as
agents of change:
46
See Equal Measures 2030 2019.
47
WEDO n.d. “Gender and Nationally Determined Contributors: Quick Analysis.”
48
WEDO 2016.
Girls’ education in climate strategies
11
Widening the participation of the public, scientific institutions, women and local
communities in planning and management, taking into account approaches and
methods of gender equity.
49
This contrasts with the positioning of women as a vulnerable group in the NDC of Kiribati:
The effects of climate change are felt first and most acutely by vulnerable and
marginalised populations, including women, children, youth, people with disabilities,
minorities, the elderly and the urban poor. Violence against women and children is a
widespread issue within Kiribati society, which can be exacerbated in times of
disasters when normal social protection may be missing.
50
Of course, women’s experiences with climate change are quite diverse, and women
simultaneously occupy both positions of vulnerability and agency. Jordan’s NDC provides a
good example of this nuance, where women are portrayed as key economic agents while also
positioned as a vulnerable group in the context of climate change:
Though gender issues are still under-investigated in Jordan, the role of women in
economy of rural areas is known to be substantial. Women in these areas are
traditionally responsible for the household economy and are active in field work as
well. Any negative impact of climate change will be most sensed by women. Women
make crucial contributions in agriculture and rural enterprises in drylands as farmers,
animal husbandry, workers and entrepreneurs through their indigenous knowledge.
Thus, Jordan is committed to the following climate change strategic objectives and
actions as related to sustainable development-oriented socio-economic adaptation
with emphasis on vulnerable groups and gender mainstreaming.
51
To make Jordan’s statement even stronger, the NDC could have been more explicit in linking
its positioning of women as economic agents to women’s capacity to also contribute to
mitigating against or helping society adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Like other studies, we also found that women are most often referenced in discussions around
adaptation (16 NDCs) rather than mitigation activities (four NDCs), indicating a level of gender
bias in strategies to achieve a net-zero, climate resilient future (see Figure 2). This bias could
be a byproduct of climate strategies focusing more on hardware, technology, or infrastructure
advancements and innovation that do not systematically consider gender in their production
or impact. Even adaptation responses, which lend themselves to more social responses, often
tend to emphasize such technical adaptation activities (e.g., building dikes) over social aspects
of building human adaptive capacity. Sri Lanka’s NAP section on Coastal Marine management,
for example, concentrates on physical protection measures, research, and mapping and
makes little mention of the population living there and the role people might play.
52
49
Uzbekistan 2018:6.
50
Kiribati 2016:15.
51
Jordan 2016:17.
52
Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment 2016.
Opportunities for improved policy and enhanced action in Nationally Determined Contributions
12
Figure 2: Gender in NDCs in reference to mitigation vs. adaptation
2. Climate strategies are ignoring girls and overlooking the role of children and
youth
As we shift our analysis to the younger generation, it is clear that if gender issues and women
are overlooked, children, youth, and especially girls are even more invisible in NDCs. Out of
160 NDCs analyzed, only three countries’ NDCs included an explicit reference to girls (Malawi,
Venezuela, and Zambia).
53
,
54
Malawi’s reference to girls positions them as a vulnerable group under the context of
adaptation to climate change:
It is worth noting that gender is a cross-cutting issue. Hence, it needs to be
mainstreamed in all the sectors. Vulnerable and disadvantaged groups carry the
burden of the impacts of climate change. Women and girls are particularly impacted,
as they have to walk further in search of basic commodities for the family such as
firewood and water. Yet, women may not have the authority to decide on alternative
and climate-resilient solutions for the household. The adaptation interventions
proposed in this INDC are meant to enhance gender inclusiveness in the adaptation
programmes and projects.
55
Venezuela did not give special emphasis to girls in its reference, but rather referenced boys
and girls as beneficiaries of educational efforts to increase environmentally sustainable
behaviors:
53
It is important to note that the NDC from the Solomon Islands includes a reference to “female education”: “Females still have
less access than males to secondary and tertiary education while women have poor access to health and family planning
services in the rural areas” (p. 4). As such, Solomon Islands was not counted in the key term search for “girl.” However, later in
this paper, we include Solomon Islands in our discussion of NDCs that make a reference to girls’ education. See Solomon
Islands 2016:4.
54
Also of note, Lesotho’s INDC calls attention to the negative impact of climate change on boys’ education, reminding readers
of the importance of attending to all genders and their unique experiences of a changing climate in climate policy: “In Lesotho
the formative years of the boy child are occupied by herding of livestock to the detriment of their education. Climate change will
particularly affect them negatively as good grazing land is gradually pushed further away from the village by its compounding
negative effects on natural resources. In addition, extreme weather events like heavy snow will increase their risk of life in the
remote cattle posts more than any other group in society.” This focus on the vulnerability of boys and the negative impact of
climate change on boys’ education gets dropped by Lesotho’s revised NDC, finalized in 2017, which was included in this
analysis. See Ministry of Energy and Meteorology 2015:11.
55
Malawi 2017: 11.
Girls’ education in climate strategies
13
Encuentros escolares estadales y nacionales con niños y niñas de educación primaria
sobre uso racional y eficiente de la energía.
56
And, in Zambia, the reference made to girls positions them as beneficiaries under the context
of its mitigation strategies. Specifically, girls’ education—the one reference to girls’ education
in all of the NDCs reviewedis referenced as a co-benefit of the Renewable Energy and Energy
Efficiency program, an example of a program contributing to Zambia’s mitigation goal:
Improved education impacts due to longer hours of study and advanced teaching
methods, safety, creation of opportunity for girl child and women’s education.
57
The absence of attention to girls, however, is a reflection of a larger, more general omission of
children and youth in NDCs. Only 67 of 160 NDCs (approximately 42%) include a direct
reference to children or youth.
58
To be even more comprehensive, we found eight additional
NDCs that made reference to future generations and/or intergenerational equity issues
without referencing children or youth specifically. Together, 75 NDCs made some reference to
the next generation of human society (see Figure 3).
Figure 3: References to the next generation in NDCs
We found that the discursive treatment of children (and youth), like the treatment of women,
leaned more heavily toward children as vulnerable (32 NDCs). Second, were children as
beneficiaries (23 NDCs), followed by children as agents of change (12 NDCs). In only seven
56
Venezuela 2017: 12.
57
Zambia 2016:4.
58
Analysis by UNICEF 2019, forthcoming.
Opportunities for improved policy and enhanced action in Nationally Determined Contributions
14
NDCs were children positioned as stakeholders to be included in decision making and climate
action (see Table 3). Children and youth were also referenced more heavily in relation to
adaptation (33 NDCs) than to mitigation (nine NDCs) activities (see Figure 4).
Figure 4: Children in NDCs in reference to mitigation vs. adaptation
Table 3. Country NDC positioning of children and youth
Vulnerable Group (32)
Beneficiary (23)
Agent of Change (12)
Stakeholder (7)
Barbados, Belize, Benin,
Burundi, Cameroon,
Central African Republic,
Chad, Costa Rica,
Democratic Republic of
the Congo, Dominica,
Ecuador, Eritrea,
Republic of The Gambia,
Guatemala, Guinea, Iran,
Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati,
Lesotho, Liberia,
Mauritania, Morocco,
Nigeria, Sri Lanka,
Tajikistan, Uruguay, Peru,
Vanuatu, Viet Nam,
Yemen, Zimbabwe
Bahamas, Belize, Burkina
Faso, Cameroon, Congo,
te D’Ivoire, Dominican
Republic, Egypt, Eritrea,
Ethiopia, Republic of The
Gambia, Iran, Nicaragua,
Papua New Guinea,
Qatar, St. Vincent and the
Grenadines, Senegal,
Seychelles, Somalia, Sri
Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan,
Zambia
Democratic People’s
Republic of Korea,
Cuba, Dominican
Republic, Côte
D’Ivoire, Nicaragua,
Pakistan, Paraguay,
Qatar, Seychelles, Sri
Lanka, Sudan,
Venezuela
Algeria, Canada, Mali,
Mexico, Panama, Paraguay,
Republic of Moldova
There is a range in the ways in which NDCs position children as agents of change. In the case
of Pakistan, children and youth are brought up in discussing Pakistan’s broader context of
development, and are positioned as valuable for their potential contributions to economic
growth rather than attributing a specific role for them in mitigating against further
environmental degradation or increasing the adaptive capacity of Pakistani society:
Girls’ education in climate strategies
15
The sizeable youth bulge offers an opportunity for accelerated economic growth and
for reaping developmental dividend if required investments flow into social and
development sectors.
59
In contrast, Cuba’s and Sudan’s references to children as agents of change are in the context
of educating or empowering them to adapt more environmentally friendly behaviors and
attitudes:
Campañas de divulgación para la promoción de las políticas de ahorro en la población
y con los niños en las escuelas sobre el uso eficiente de la energía.
60
Enhancing the participation of women and youth in activities related to adaptation and
environmental conservation in order to empower them and enhance their adaptive
capacity including through establishment [sic] rural women development
programme.
61
In Moldova, children and youth are positioned as stakeholders who could be affected by the
country’s plans for adapting to climate change:
To implement climate change adaptation policies, the whole society together with
public authorities, companies and NGOs, will assure an appropriate level of knowledge
about climate change and its expected effects. At the same time, inclusion of climate
change adaptation issues in the curricula at all levels and in the professional training
process plays a very important role in the development of appropriate attitudes, so
that young people and children have access to information on disaster and climate
risk, appropriate emergency response and long-term adaptation options.
62
Such active positioning of children and youth can be contrasted with their more passive
representation in NDCs that position them as beneficiaries of programs and efforts that their
countries intend to implement toward mitigation and adaptation efforts. For example, beyond
mentioning children as a vulnerable group, the NDCs of Belize and Ethiopia do not ascribe any
further role for children in climate action:
Public communication is an integral element of the GSDS [Growth and Sustainable
Development Strategy]. The program of action component of the GSDS contains
provisions for education, awareness and training. To support economic growth,
sustainable development and resilience, the GSDS recognizes the need to develop
adequate skills and capacities via the implementation of the Education Sector Strategy
2011-2016, at all education levels and institutions. […] Furthermore, the GSDS will
develop programs to educate and provide employment opportunities to at-risk youth.
63
Because climate change will affect all geographic areas of the country, its solution
requires the participation of the entire population, especially farmers and pastoralists.
Parallel to this, Ethiopia’s response to climate change aims to integrate actions that
improve the status of women and the welfare of children. Furthermore, measures to
59
Pakistan 2016:6.
60
“Outreach campaigns for the promotion of savings policies in the population and with children in schools on the efficient use
of energy.” See Cuba 2015:15.
61
Sudan 2017:13.
62
Moldova 2017:15.
63
Belize 2016:13.
Opportunities for improved policy and enhanced action in Nationally Determined Contributions
16
address climate change will be planned and implemented in a manner that addresses
the wellbeing of the elderly, persons with disabilities and environmental refugees.
64
In the case of Ethiopia, above, although its NDC calls on the participation of the entire
population, it makes no explicit reference to the contributions that children can make. Further
plans and strategies that trickle down from this national policy may overlook action for, by, and
with girls, children, and youth. Ethiopia’s national adaptation plan does not reference girls, and
where it references children they are positioned as one of several vulnerable groups who must
be made beneficiaries of social protection mechanisms, such as “putting in place safety net
schemes.”
65
For example, the NAP references children when discussing households under
climate stress employing coping mechanisms that can negatively impact the welfare of
children, including sending children away to engage in income generating activities, limiting
portion sizes at meals, and relying on less preferred and cheap foods.
66
Given the small number of NAPs submitted to the UNFCCC after the Paris Agreement, it is
difficult to determine if there is a relationship between a country’s NDC’s attention to girls,
children, and youth and its NAP’s attention to these same groups. Nonetheless, there were
relatively more references made to our key terms in the NAPs than in the NDCs. For example,
all 13 NAPs included references to gender (12 of which were gender-sensitive in their
inclusion). Two NAPs (Burkina Faso and Fiji) include references specifically to girls, both of
which were relatively progressive in terms of the context of their inclusion, as well as nuanced
in terms of their positioning as vulnerable group of stakeholders and agents of change:
The level of school attendance of girls is low compared to boys in Burkina Faso, as in
many other Sahelian countries. With no access to education, women are at an even
greater disadvantage, as they are excluded from debates on the exploitation and
sustainable protection of natural resources.
67
The integration of gender considerations receives particular attention, especially the
need to enhance the welfare of women and girlssuch as ensuring their full, equal,
and meaningful participation and access to opportunities and resourcesto maximise
their potential as active agents of change and drivers of climate-resilient
development.
68
In addition, 12 out of 13 NAPs analyzed include some reference to children, youth, future
generations, or intergenerational equity. Chile’s NAP does not make any references to children
or to future generationsalthough it does make child-sensitive references to education. And,
while Sri Lanka’s NAP includes a single reference to future generationsalthough, no
references to children or youththis reference is made in the Introduction and in the context
of summarizing the key message of the IPCC report, rather than in consideration of future
generations in Sri Lanka.
69
The majority of NAPs, however, make substantive references to
children. One of Kenya’s references to youth, for example, calls out special attention to their
role in innovating in climate resiliency efforts:
64
Ethiopia 2017:4.
65
Ethiopia 2019:58.
66
Ethiopia 2019: 42-43.
67
Ministry of Environment and Fishery Resources 2015:55.
68
Fiji 2018:38.
69
Of note: Sri Lanka’s NAP does include reference to school curricula.
Girls’ education in climate strategies
17
Rising to the challenges of climate change requires innovative application of
technology and science matched to local needs and risks. Kenyan universities and
research institutes already possess a strong scientific foundation necessary to
promote further research and development into local risks and adaptation options. […]
In addition small and medium sized enterprises in Kenya operated by the youth are at
the forefront of innovation in technology and require adequate support to upscale and
increase uptake of these innovations in order to enhance resilience.
70
While a text analysis of the NAPs suggests climate policies are doing a good job, the lack of
attention to girls, children, and youth in NDCs tells a different story. All too often children and
youth are included in population lists among those to be informed and considered, rather than
as groups with a contribution to make and a real stake in combatting climate crisis.
71
Even though girls, because of their gender and age, bear greater risks and vulnerability to
climate change, country policies are not adequately addressing their needs in climate
adaptation efforts, nor are they doing enough to set the foundations for their inclusion and
empowerment in and through climate policy and practice. Interestingly, many of the positive,
and more active references to girls, children, and youth in both NDCs and NAPs are in relation
to their roles as students in school. However, as we discuss below, when it comes to how
education is referenced, NDCs still have a long way to go.
3. Climate strategies position education in a largely passive role, not an
empowering one
Out of 160 NDCs, 108 (68%) include education-related references in the broadest sense (e.g.,
education, schools, skills, capacity building).
72
At first glance, this number suggests education
has been well-integrated into national climate strategies. However, a deeper analysis shows
that this is not the case. Of all the NDCs that reference education (or school), the majority (66
of 108, or 61%) position education passively without explicitly describing children’s role in
mitigation or adaptation efforts (see Figure 5).
70
Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources 2016:24.
71
See for example “Ensure capacity building and participation of the society, local communities, indigenous peoples, women,
men, youth, civil organizations and private sector in national and subnational climate change planning.” See México 2015:7.
72
These findings and the analysis behind it are slightly different than the analysis conducted by YOUNGO (the Youth
Constituency to the UNFCCC), which looked specifically at the incorporation of Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) concepts
(e.g., education, public access, public participation, and scientific training), as captured in Article 6 of the Convention and then
reiterated in Article 12 of the Paris Agreement, in the NDCs. The YOUNGO also scored each country’s inclusion, creating a
ranking of country performance on integrating ACE in NDCs. See YOUNGO Ace Working Group 2016.
Opportunities for improved policy and enhanced action in Nationally Determined Contributions
18
Figure 5: References to education or skills in NDCs
We observe such passive representation in NDCs manifest in four primary ways:
First, education-as-climate action is positioned as a general activity (e.g., public education,
awareness raising), almost token in nature, intended to contribute to the success of efforts
made by other sectors. In some instances, like that of Kenya’s NDC below, the reference
appears to be a literal placeholder to Article 6 of the UNFCCC/Article 12 of the Paris
Agreement. The NDCs of Cabo Verde, Bhutan, Morocco, and Kenya all reference education in
this manner:
Seek to provide proper waste management coverage … for at least 50% of the more
vulnerable municipalities by 2030, including: implementing educational programs for
the separation of basic waste types by households and waste producers ….
73
Enhancing awareness and capacity through education, research on areas of concern
in Bhutan and institutional strengthening will also be essential for successful
implementation of the intended actions. Other indirect success may also be achieved
through advocacy and behavioural changes to promote sustainable consumption,
energy efficiency and other climate friendly actions.
74
The protection of the cultural heritage of the kingdom through education and
awareness actions, and efforts to preserve ancestral good practices in highly
vulnerable sectors, such as water and agriculture.
75
Enhance education, training, public awareness, public participation, public access to
information on climate change adaptation across public and private sectors.
76
73
Cabo Verde 2017:5.
74
Interestingly, Bhutan’s NDC does not link education as a pathway for achieving behavioral change toward climate friendly
action. See Bhutan 2017:8.
75
Morocco 2016:20.
76
Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources 2015:5.
Girls’ education in climate strategies
19
Second, NDCs reference education as an outcome that is indirectly or directly impacted by
climate change and/or by another sector’s contribution to mitigation or adaptation. Take
Jamaica’s and Lesotho’s for example:
Hurricane Sandy (2012) accounted for J$9.7 billion or 0.8% of 2011 GDP in direct and
indirect damage, as well as increased expenditures by private and Government
entities. The health, housing, and education sectors experienced the greatest impact
accounting for 48% of the total costs in damaged.
77
The rural electrification programme will reduce GHG emissions, promote rural
development local entrepreneurship, reduce poverty, reduce rural exodus through job
creation, strengthen social cohesion, improve education and health, improve access
to new information and communication technologies and energy equipment and
alleviation of women’s domestic duties.
78
Third, NDCs may be specific about the type of education needed, but the reference lacks any
targeted audience. Notably absent in these instances is attention to the education of school-
aged children and youthagain, further evidence that the majority of NDCs do not take an
intergenerational approach to education in climate action. In addition to overlooking children
and youth, all but two NDCs (Zambia and Solomon Islands) ignore the education of girls; no
NDC formally recognizes the contributions that investment in girls’ education could make
toward their climate strategy. If NDCs were to fulfill the Paris Agreement’s aspirations to
promote fair, equitable, and just climate action, positioning education as a vehicle for the
empowerment not only of society, but of society’s most vulnerable and marginalized
populations, would have been low hanging fruit. However, given the political change that more
explicit attention to girl’s rights, children’s rights, and human rights might engender, it is no
surprise that NDCs approach education in a more politically palatable and normative way. For
example, St. Lucia’s NDC discusses education on the impacts of climate change for the general
public; Vanuatu references education that increases all stakeholders’ awareness about
ecosystem-based adaptation efforts; while Mozambique references climate change education
for an unnamed audience:
Government and the local NGO community have also undertaken sector-based and
wider public education and awareness programmes to inform various publics of the
anticipated and emerging consequences of climate change and to seek to build
resilience to these impacts.
79
Support ecosystem function and services through action and planning by Developing
advocacy and educational programs for all stakeholders at all levels around the value
of ecosystem-based adaptation.
80
To implement the INDC it is necessary to: Elaborate and implement a strategy for
climate change education, awareness raising, communication and public
participation.
81
77
Jamaica 2017:6.
78
Lesotho Meteorological Services 2017:8.
79
Saint Lucia 2015:1.
80
Vanuatu 2016:11.
81
Mozambique 2018:8.
Opportunities for improved policy and enhanced action in Nationally Determined Contributions
20
Finally, NDCs reference education as a sector in need of financial or material support to help
the country achieve its sustainable development goalsnot necessarily to enhance the
country’s climate action.
82
For example, the NDCs of Antigua and Barbuda, Guatemala, and
Ghana make apparent the struggles that all countries, regardless of income level, face when
it comes to supporting education:
Additional activities requiring support for implementation include support for
education, training, public awareness, public participation, public access to
information, and international cooperation throughout implementation of the INDC
targets.
83
Ningún acontecimiento nacional relevante, perjudica la asignación de recursos
financieros a nivel nacional e internacional y no es necesario reorientar actividades y
políticas públicas, restando financiamiento a temas priorizados para el país como
educación, salud y seguridad.
84
In this regard, Ghana considers its INDC to be fair and ambitious for 4 main reasons:
[…] As a developing country, the lack of fiscal space to finance priority issues including
poverty reduction policies including investments in education, health and basic
infrastructure constrains the country’s effort to finance and implement climate
mitigation and adaptation policies.
85
Such passive positioning of education leaves little room for the empowerment, inclusion, and
participation of actors who could provide instrumental support in planning and budgeting,
design, delivery, and implementation (in formal, non-formal, and informal learning spaces), or
monitoring and evaluation. Such framing also contributes to the construction of unnecessary
silos that position climate change as a problem for environment-relevant sectors to handle,
rather than all sectors. For example, Solomon Islands’ brief discussion of “female education”
is in reference to the context of gender inequality and the overall human and economic
development in the island nation rather than in the context of climate change, per se:
Females still have less access than males to secondary and tertiary education while
women have poor access to health and family planning services in the rural areas
86
The vague positioning of education as “awareness raising” and “training” leaves ample room
for countries to simply talk the talk without following up with coordinated action or investment,
including with respect to the targeted interventions needed for children, without which they
are more likely to be overlooked. Moreover, an approach that does not positively incorporate
children and young people as stakeholders in their own futures, empowering them to act now
in their communities, is not only failing to tackle climate crisis today but is building in even
82
Although, with the exception of Costa Rica, whose NDC takes a more empowering approach to describe both its own
investment in public education and how it plans to leverage this investment for climate actionalbeit not in a child-sensitive
manner: “Costa Rica has a century old tradition of investment in public education, and it’s one of the few countries in Latin
America to invest 8% of GDP in public education. This becomes a unique opportunity to use that installed capacity to educate
Cost Rican citizens of today and strengthen university research to develop science and technology needed to support the
mitigation and adaptation goals proposed in the National Contribution. See Ministry of Environment and Energy 2015:5.
83
Antigua and Barbuda 2015:11.
84
“No relevant national event prohibits the allocation of financial resources at national and international and level and it’s not
necessary to reorient activities and public policies, except for funding of prioritized issues for the country such as education,
health and safety.” See Guatemala 2017:7.
85
Ghana 2015:9.
86
Solomon Islands 2016:4.
Girls’ education in climate strategies
21
greater challenges for tomorrow. And finally, passive positioning of education means a missed
opportunity for countries to link their sustainable development and climate agendas by
creating space for coordinated investments in education across sectors.
Although 68% of NDCs refer to education, only 26% (42 of 160) actually make child-sensitive
references to education (see Figure 5, above)of which 35 are in reference to education
specifically, three to skills (Dominican Republic, Egypt, and Mali), and four to both education
and skills (Belize, Cameroon, Eritrea, and Nigeria) (see Box 2).
Box 2: Countries whose NDCs make child-sensitive references to education (42)
Algeria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Belize, Cameroon, Chile, China, Congo, Cuba, Dominica,
Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Republic of The Gambia, Ghana, Haiti, India,
Jordan, Kiribati, Madagascar, Mali, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Palau, Panama, Qatar,
Senegal, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, St. Vincent and the Grenadines,
Sudan, Togo, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia
These references range in quality from merely referencing schools as the context in which
mitigation and adaptation efforts would take place (see Palau’s and China’s NDCs, below), to
building intergenerational knowledge and awareness of climate risks (see Eritrea’s NDC,
below), to leveraging schools as sites through which to build adaptive capacity through the
development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes (see Qatar’s and Seychelles’s NDCs, below).
For example:
Palau is investigating a project to convert waste cooking oil to biofuel for diesel
vehicles, beginning with public school buses and a potential public bus route.
87
To enhance related education and training and to fully utilize the function of schools,
communities and civil organizations.
88
It is also very important to mainstreaming climate related topics to be included in the
curricula at all levels. Inclusion in the adult education would augment awareness not
only among school children but also impart knowledge on adults concerning the risks
involved in climate change.
89
Qatar is investing heavily in education. Great steps have been taken to create a world-
class education system that aims to build an environmentally aware society. Qatar’s
emphasis on education is expected to produce graduates who are specialized in
knowledge-based services, healthcare and green technologies. On the same grounds,
young Qataris are always motivated to take advantage of the various opportunities for
post-secondary education and training [to] strengthen the new generation’s
capabilities and improve their analytical thinking, innovation and entrepreneurship to
contribute to climate change efforts and sustainable development.
90
There is a need to accelerate efforts to integrate climate change education into the
school curriculum at all levels, including primary, secondary and professional centres
and ensure that adequate attention is given to adaptation measures. On a more
87
Palau 2015:5.
88
National Development and Reform Commission 2015:15.
89
Eritrea 2018:24.
90
Qatar 2015:3-4.
Opportunities for improved policy and enhanced action in Nationally Determined Contributions
22
fundamental level, there is a need for Seychelles to reinforce and enhance the quality
of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education at all levels to
develop a new generation more capable of climate change adaptation leadership.
91
Qatar’s and Seychelles’ NDCs, above, are a few of the notable examples of NDCs taking a more
ambitious, strategic, and transformative child-sensitive approach to education. Nigeria’s NDC
goes a step further to specify strategies for the education sector that could amplify the impact
of its activities for greater climate action:
1. Provide evidence-based information to raise awareness and trigger climate change
adaptation actions that will protect present and future generations in Nigeria. 2.
Develop skills-based curriculum in subjects like science, geography, social studies,
language arts, environmental education and technology that will empower children to
better respond to the threats of climate change. 3. Train teachers on climate change
adaptation teaching strategies and techniques at pre-primary, primary, secondary and
tertiary levels of education in Nigeria.
92
The Gambia’s NDC provides an excellent example of how a country can move toward
integrating attention to issues of equity in climate action by addressing educational inequality
within and across countries. Although, The Gambia’s NDC oftentimes misses the mark when it
comes to the transformative potential of education for children and youthand misses the
inclusion of women and girls entirelyin the links it makes, it is a model that other countries
could learn from while building in greater attention to the education of children and girls:
While the legal basis for education service delivery responds to upholding the right of
everybody to quality basic education … there is empirical evidence to suggest that the
provision of such education to any population lays a strong foundation for the
sustainable development of any country. As the National Education curricula are
currently being reviewed, financial and technical support would be required to
integrate climate change and other environmental issues into the curricula. This will
be the starting point for the mainstreaming climate change into basic and higher
education curricular and the development and institutionalization of specialized
training programmes in higher education as is proposed in the PAGE (1012-2015).
The Government plans to embark on research and provision of higher education on
climate change-related disciplines, such as adapted land use, and integrate climate
change into the primary, secondary, tertiary and higher education curricula as the
education sectors contribution to the proposed national climate change strategy of
The Gambia.
93
(emphasis added)
Education in National Adaptation Plans
NAPs are again more targeted than NDCs and have, both quantitatively and qualitatively, better
inclusion of education topics that are both child- and gender-sensitive, as well as rights-based.
All 13 of the NAPs reviewed for this analysis contain references to education (or schools or
skills), and many of these references function to link the country’s national climate strategies
91
Seychelles 2015:6.
92
Nigeria 2017:22.
93
Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Forestry, Water and Wildlife 2016:19.
Girls’ education in climate strategies
23
(in these cases, focused on adaptation) with their strategies for achieving the SDGs, including
Goal 5 on gender equality and Goal 4 on quality education. Fiji’s NAP, for example, dedicates
an entire section to drawing connections between its strategies for climate change adaptation
and the SDGs, as well as discussing the gender and human rights-based approach of its
adaptation strategies:
The NAP will generally support efforts to achieve Goal 4 which is to ensure inclusive
and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities. It
achieves this predominantly through the section on climate change awareness and
knowledge which will be expected to have some benefits for enhancing access to
affordable and quality technical, vocational, and tertiary education. It is also expected
to have some benefit for promoting relevant skills and to support efforts to ensure
equitable access to all levels of education and vocational training. Most pertinently, it
is expected that this section of the NAP will have significant benefits for ensuring that
all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable
development. Particular focus will be given to contextually relevant ecosystem-based
as well as gender and human rights-based approaches to adaptation.
94
Similarly, Kenya’s NAP integrates the country’s desire to achieve economic growth and
development in a way that is climate compatible. It sees education and training as a
mechanism for aligning these agendas and achieving a vision of the future that is climate
resilient:
Kenya’s need to increase the number of beneficial, fair-paying jobs available is closely
aligned with the need for effective responses to climate risks that are organised and
led by Kenyan stakeholders. Reducing the vulnerability of Kenyans through economic
growth and increasing employment opportunities and improving wages is an integral
part of climate-compatible development. Training young Kenyans in relevant careers
and imparting new skills to those already in the workforce or unemployed will build
national resilience to climate change while aiding the country’s economic
development.
95
It is through an analysis of the sociological dimensions of NDCs and NAPs that we get a greater
understanding of how climate strategies are (or are not) more than just climate strategies. By
looking at how countries treat education (and children within these references), we begin to
see how responsibility for climate action gets spread unevenly across actors within countries
and among countries. Such spread has real political and social ramifications when looked at
from a summative perspectivea point we turn to next.
4. “Moral responsibility” and “solidarity” are largely ignored in national climate
strategies
While there are a few positive examples of national climate strategies paying attention to
issues of equity, justice, and fairness vis-à-vis attention to girls, children, and education,
climate strategies are on the whole not doing justice to the aspirations of both the UNFCCC
and the Paris Agreement. Perhaps some of the most interesting findings occurred when we
began to look at the key terms’ results across different groupings of countries, particularly by
age, levels of carbon emissions, and climate vulnerability.
94
Fiji 2018:14.
95
Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources 2016:26.
Opportunities for improved policy and enhanced action in Nationally Determined Contributions
24
For example, “young” countries—those countries whose total population under the age of 15
comprises between one-third to one-half of its total population
96
are more likely to make
references to children, youth, future generations, and/or intergenerational equity concerns in
their climate strategies.
Specifically, 59% (37 countries’ NDCs) of 63 young countries whose NDCs were analyzed
incorporate attention to current and future generations of children (see Appendix A for a list of
countries), compared to 38% (38 NDCs) of 100 “older” countries. This suggests that countries
with a youth bulge are more likely to be attentive to the intergenerational dimensions of climate
change and climate action.
In contrast, those countries responsible for emitting the highest levels of carbon emissions
today are less likely to make references to children in their NDCs. Only five (25%)India, Iran,
Canada, Mexico, and Indonesiaof the top 20 carbon emitting countries (including the
European Union) include attention to children and future generations, compared to 70 (49%)
in the rest of the world
97
and 12 of the top 20 most climate-vulnerable countries (see Appendix
B and C for a list of countries).
98
When it comes to NDC references to education and skills, only seven of the top 20 carbon
emitting countries have done so (three of which are child-sensitive: China, India, and South
Africa), compared to 101 (71%) of the rest of the world, and 15 (75%) of the top 20 most
climate-vulnerable countries (see Table 4).
Clearly, the rest of the world, and especially the most climate-vulnerable countries, are
shouldering the policy burden of ensuring their countries, and especially their young people,
receive the necessary education and skills to face the oncoming challenges of a hot planet.
Whether these countries actually achieve this in practice is a matter for another study.
Table 4: Number of NDCs that make references to children and education
Children and future
generations
Education and skills
Top 20 CO2 emitting
countries
5 (25%)
7 (35%)
The rest of the world
(142 countries)
70 (49%)
101 (71%)
The top 20 most
climate-vulnerable
countries
12 (60%)
15 (75%)
Interestingly, among the top 20 carbon emitters, wealthy, industrialized countries like the
United States, Japan, Canada, and Australia, as well as countries in the European Union, are
not among the countries tending to children and child-sensitive education. Rather, it is
countries that are already experiencing the impact of rising sea levels, decreased air quality,
and intensifying heat alongside ongoing challenges of economic development, poverty and
inequality. Specifically, Qatar, Eritrea, Bahrain, Sudan, Myanmar, and Indiacountries whose
NDCs include both references to children (or future generations) and child-sensitive
96
For data source, see Population Reference Bureau 2019.
97
For data source, see Global Carbon Atlas n.d.
98
For data source, see ND-GAIN n.d.
Girls’ education in climate strategies
25
educationare leading the way in terms of addressing the spirit of the Paris Agreement. Other
countries like China, for example, may include the ambitious goal of leveraging education to
transform the patterns of consumption driving climate change
99
, but direct little of this
attention to children and youth.
To enhance education for all citizens on low-carbon way of life and consumption, to
advocate green, low-carbon, healthy and civilized way of life and consumption patterns
and to promote low-carbon consumption throughout society.
100
Finally it is worth noting that, out of the 118 NDCs discussing health and climate change, only
12 actually discuss these issues in relation to children, despite the fact that children are one
of the most vulnerable populations to decreased air quality, shifting disease patterns of
climate-sensitive infections, increased heat stress, increased food and water insecurity, and
other adverse effects of a changing climate and weather-related disasters.
101
When it comes to the ideas of “moral responsibility” and “solidarity” in climate action, there is
little evidence of either in the attitudes of wealthier countries toward poorer countries. Nor did
we see overwhelming attention paid to these concepts within individual countries, vis-à-vis
their national climate strategies, toward their own populations, whether present or future
generations.
Conclusions: Opportunities for enhanced policy and
action
Given the important role that NDCs play on the road to 2030 and 2050, it is critical to
understand where the gaps and opportunities lie. Research has shown us that there is no
single solution to reversing the climate crisis. Rather, countries need to deploy every evidence-
informed strategy at their disposal.
102
Currently, NDCs are not doing this. While the Paris
Agreement, as we noted earlier, references the importance of issues like gender equality, the
empowerment of women, intergenerational equity, and the rights of children, such attention
has not translated into country-level climate policies. This will only impede progress toward
realizing a just, equitable, and fair transition to a net-zero, climate-resilient future that leaves
no child behind.
Research on girls’ education has demonstrated powerful linkages between the achievement
of quality, empowering, and transformative education for girls, the fulfillment of girls’ rights,
and the types of outcomes and social change needed to reverse global warming trends. Yet,
climate strategies ignore the evidence and do not recognize or prioritize the important
contribution that girls’ education could make to combating climate crisis.
From a gender and age perspective, it is clear that girls are not being addressed at all in
adaptation and mitigation at a national policy level. National climate strategies are
inadequately responding to those most vulnerable to climate change, barely recognizing the
99
Notably, few other NDCs have laid out such an ambitious climate-related agenda for the education sector.
100
National Development and Reform Commission 2015:11.
101
Ahdoot et al. 2015.
102
Hawken 2017.
Opportunities for improved policy and enhanced action in Nationally Determined Contributions
26
social implications of the climate crisis. In the process, national strategies are also reinforcing
gender inequality rather than seeing it as an opportunity for change, not just for girls and
women but also for society and the planet as a whole. Consistent with the research, more
attention is needed on girls, children, and youthnot only as vulnerable populations and
prospective beneficiaries in need of social protection, but also as rights holders, stakeholders
and agents of change in their own right.
In addition, research continues to highlight education and access to information as a key
response in strengthening resilience and adaptive capacity. However, education and the
sectors that can advance girls’ rights are almost non-existent in national responses to climate
change. When education is referenced more broadly, it is referred to more in terms of a sector
that needs to be mobilized, or a set of abstract activities that needs to be enacted (e.g.,
“education, awareness, and training”). Rarely is the substance or the quality of education
called out as an important factor in determining how education might contribute to the kind of
systems-level transformation needed to increase humanity’s ability to reverse climate
catastrophe. Such transformation would seed efforts toward achieving gender equality through
a more inclusive, quality, and gender transformative education. Yet, countries have missed
this opportunity in their NDCs as well.
Finally, examining attention to girls, children, and education across these different groupings
of countries helps to illuminate trends that are defined by powertrends that are political,
economic, and social in nature. For instance, it is no coincidence that among the top 20 carbon
emitters, those countries that are historically responsible for our current levels of
anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are the same countries that are not
attending to the sociological dimensions of the impacts of climate change: the role of women
and girls in strategies to mitigate against further environmental damage, or approaches to
increasing the adaptive capacity of children and youth through new approaches to education.
Such delineation sheds light on how concepts like fairness, equity, and climate justice are
being sidelined by those with power, while countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate
change are shouldering the burden of social change.
103
In this way, frequency counts become
illustrative of deeper sociopolitical trends preventing themes of gender equality, children’s
rights, and the right to education for the most disadvantaged from being etched throughout
the climate policy landscape.
While this analysis pays special attention to Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs),
National Adaption Plans (NAPs) may be a country-level climate strategy needing equal public
scrutiny and research. On all key terms searched, NAPs performed considerably better in terms
of their inclusion of attention to girls, children and youth, and education. Further analysis is
also needed on inclusion of girls and education in Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions.
This study highlights how the inclusion of girls’ rights in national climate strategies can have
mutual benefits for both climate action and gender equality. Indeed, it is through girls’
education that interdependency between the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable
Development Agenda becomes clear. However, national governments currently have missed
the opportunity to advance these two vital agendas. It is important that any activities to reduce
climate change also contribute to gender equality and that activities to achieve gender equality
do not contribute to further environmental degradation. Climate policy that addresses girls’
103
See for example, Roberts and Parks 2017; Parks and Roberts 2008.
Girls’ education in climate strategies
27
education and prioritizes their access to information is climate policy aimed at dismantling the
roots of inequality that sustain the present patriarchal system of exploitation, oppression, and
domination underlying the current climate crisis. By investing in girls’ education, countries are
simultaneously investing in the social change needed to engender a just transition to an
alternative world system grounded in social, gender, and ecological justice.
Appendix A: Young countries and their inclusion of children and youth in NDCs
Country
Includes
reference to
children/youth
% population
<15 years
Niger
0.5
Angola
No data
0.48
Chad
X
0.48
Mali
X
0.48
Somalia
X
0.47
Uganda
X
0.47
Zambia
X
0.46
Burkina Faso
X
0.45
Burundi
X
0.45
Central African Republic
X
0.45
Guinea
X
0.45
Malawi
0.45
Mozambique
0.45
Afghanistan
0.44
Republic of The Gambia
X
0.44
Guinea Bissau
0.44
Nigeria
X
0.44
Tanzania
0.44
Benin
X
0.43
Cameroon
X
0.43
Senegal
X
0.43
Congo
X
0.42
Côte D’Ivoire
X
0.42
Eritrea
X
0.42
Ethiopia
X
0.42
Liberia
X
0.42
Togo
0.42
Kenya
X
0.41
Madagascar
0.41
Sierra Leone
0.41
Sudan
X
0.41
Mauritania
X
0.4
Opportunities for improved policy and enhanced action in Nationally Determined Contributions
28
Nauru
0.4
Rwanda
0.4
Solomon Islands
X
0.4
Yemen
X
0.4
Zimbabwe
X
0.4
Comoros
0.39
Iraq
No data
0.39
Marshall Islands
0.39
State of Palestine
X
0.39
Timor-Leste
No data
0.39
Vanuatu
X
0.39
Gabon
0.38
Ghana
0.38
Samoa
0.38
Equatorial Guinea
0.37
Namibia
0.37
Belize
X
0.36
Pakistan
X
0.36
Papua New Guinea
X
0.36
Tonga
X
0.36
Guatemala
X
0.35
Kiribati
X
0.35
Swaziland
0.35
Egypt
X
0.34
Haiti
0.34
Jordan
X
0.34
Tajikistan
X
0.34
Honduras
0.33
Kyrgyzstan
0.33
Lao
0.33
Lesotho
X
0.33
Appendix B: “The rest of the world” countries and their inclusion of
children/youth, education/skills
Rank (by
CO2
emissions,
highest to
lowest)
Country
Inclusion of
children/youth
Inclusion of
education/skills
22
Kazakhstan
25
Malaysia
X
26
United Arab Emirates
X
Girls’ education in climate strategies
29
27
Egypt
X
X
28
Ukraine
29
Argentina
X
30
Viet Nam
X
X
31
Pakistan
X
X
32
Iraq
No data
No data
34
Venezuela
X
X
35
Algeria
X
X
36
Qatar
X
X
37
Philippines
X
X
39
Nigeria
X
X
40
Kuwait
X
42
Uzbekistan
X
43
Bangladesh
44
Chile
X
X
45
Colombia
X
48
Turkmenistan
50
Israel
51
Oman
No data
No data
52
Peru
X
X
53
Singapore
54
Morocco
X
X
55
Belarus
X
56
Democratic People’s Republic of
Korea
X
X
58
Libya
No data
No data
62
Serbia
63
Norway
66
Trinidad and Tobago
67
Switzerland
69
Ecuador
X
X
70
Azerbaijan
71
Cuba
X
X
72
New Zealand
73
Angola
No data
No data
76
Bahrain
X
X
77
Mongolia
78
Tunisia
79
Syrian Arab Republic
X
80
Bosnia and Herzegovina
81
Myanmar
X
X
Opportunities for improved policy and enhanced action in Nationally Determined Contributions
30
82
Sri Lanka
X
X
83
Jordan
X
X
84
Dominican Republic
X
X
85
Bolivia
X
86
Guatemala
X
X
88
Lebanon
X
89
Yemen
X
X
91
Sudan
X
X
92
Ghana
X
93
Kenya
X
X
95
Tanzania
X
96
Ethiopia
X
98
Afghanistan
X
99
Côte D’Ivoire
X
X
100
Georgia
101
Honduras
X
102
Kyrgyzstan
103
Zimbabwe
X
X
104
Mozambique
X
105
Brunei Darussalam
No data
No data
106
Panama
X
X
107
Senegal
X
X
109
Nepal
X
110
Costa Rica
X
X
111
Cambodia
112
Botswana
X
113
Jamaica
X
114
Cameroon
X
X
116
Benin
X
X
117
Papua New Guinea
X
120
El Salvador
X
121
Uruguay
X
X
122
Equatorial Guinea
X
123
Albania
125
Paraguay
X
126
Uganda
X
X
127
Tajikistan
X
128
Armenia
X
X
130
Gabon
131
Nicaragua
X
X
132
Republic of Moldova
X
X
Girls’ education in climate strategies
31
133
Democratic Republic of the Congo
X
134
Zambia
X
X
135
Mauritius
X
136
Namibia
X
137
Iceland
138
Congo
X
X
139
Burkina Faso
X
X
140
Madagascar
X
141
Haiti
X
142
Togo
X
143
Guinea
X
X
144
Mauritania
X
X
145
Lesotho
X
X
146
Montenegro
147
Bahamas
X
X
148
Niger
X
149
State of Palestine
X
X
150
Guyana
X
151
Suriname
X
152
Lao
X
154
Mali
X
X
155
Maldives
X
158
Sierra Leone
X
159
Malawi
X
160
Fiji
161
Swaziland
X
162
Barbados
X
163
Bhutan
X
164
Liberia
X
165
Rwanda
X
168
Djibouti
169
Eritrea
X
X
170
Somalia
X
X
171
Chad
X
173
Republic of The Gambia
X
X
175
Seychelles
X
X
176
Cabo Verde
X
178
Antigua and Barbuda
X
X
179
Belize
X
X
180
Timor-Leste
No data
No data
181
Burundi
X
X
Opportunities for improved policy and enhanced action in Nationally Determined Contributions
32
182
Andorra
183
St. Lucia
X
185
Guinea Bissau
X
186
Central African Republic
X
X
187
Palau
X
188
Grenada
189
St. Kitts and Nevis
190
Solomon Islands
X
X
191
Samoa
192
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
X
X
193
Turks and Caicos Islands
No data
No data
194
British Virgin Islands
No data
No data
195
Comoros
X
196
Vanuatu
X
X
197
Micronesia
198
Liechtenstein
199
Anguilla
No data
No data
200
Dominica
X
X
201
Tonga
X
X
202
Marshall Islands
X
203
São Tomé and Principe
X
204
Cook Islands
205
St. Pierre and Miquelon
No data
No data
206
Kiribati
X
X
207
Nauru
X
209
Wallis and Futuna Islands
No data
No data
210
Niue
X
X
211
Tuvalu
X
X
212
St. Helena
No data
No data
Appendix C: Climate-vulnerable countries and their inclusion of children/youth,
education/skills
Rank
(most
vulnerable
to least)
Most climate-
vulnerable country
Inclusion of
children/youth
Inclusion of
education/skills
NDC-Gain
Index*
178
Qatar
X
X
-45.33
177
Kuwait
X
-22.75
174
Chad
X
-16.01
173
Equatorial Guinea
X
-15.51
Girls’ education in climate strategies
33
172
Eritrea
X
X
-15.25
171
United Arab Emirates
X
-15.05
170
Central African
Republic
X
X
-13.66
169
Singapore
-13.61
168
Bahrain
X
X
-13.45
167
Sudan
X
X
-12.62
166
Democratic Republic
of the Congo
X
-11.63
162
Niger
X
-10.34
162
Afghanistan
X
-10.29
162
Haiti
X
-10.26
160
Guinea Bissau
X
-9.46
159
Liberia
X
-9.04
155
Myanmar
X
X
-8.84
155
Zimbabwe
X
X
-8.84
155
Burundi
X
X
-8.82
151
Madagascar
X
-8.64
*Adjusted for GDP, Source: https://gain.nd.edu/our-work/country-index/rankings/
**Saudi Arabia was removed from this list, as it is also ranks in the top 20 carbon emitting countries.
Opportunities for improved policy and enhanced action in Nationally Determined Contributions
34
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... 63 Busch (2015). 64 Kwauk, et al. (2019). 65 The IPCC report emphasizes that "social justice and equity are core aspects of climateresilient development pathways that aim to limit global warming to 1.5°C as they address challenges and inevitable trade-offs, widen opportunities, and ensure that options, visions, and values are deliberated, between and within countries and communities, without making the poor and disadvantaged worse off." ...
... For more information, see the outcomes of the Sixth Meeting of the Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (UNESCO 2019c). 75 Kwauk, et al. (2019). 76 Pavlova (2013), p. 660. ...
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