Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia, Right Honourable Nelly B K Mutti, MP, FAPRA has said despite steady progress towards greater gender sensitivity in the current climate finance regime, many existing mitigation and adaptation financing schemes need to deliver on women’s empowerment by systematically and effectively linking gender and climate finance. She noted that mitigation activities and associated financing have tended to focus more on large-scale energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, in which women are usually left out. 

Speaker Mutti said this when she delivered a Keynote address at a panel discussion facilitated by First National Bank (FNB) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on “bridging the Finance Gap for Transformative Gender Climate Solutions in Africa” at the ongoing Twenty- Eighth United Nations Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP 28) on Saturday, 2nd December, 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Honourable Mutti added that gender responsive climate budgets are needed to ensure that government policies do not create, maintain, or exacerbate gender inequalities, but rather work to meet all people’s unique, intersectional and evolving needs.  She stated that, climate change hazards increase existing gender inequalities, and thereby contribute to the greater climate change vulnerability of many women due to persisting gender norms and widespread gender discrimination. 

The Speaker added that Parliaments can play a key role in ensuring that gender sensitive climate objectives are systematically integrated into government policy, planning, budgeting, monitoring, evaluation, and audits.  She said, through the legislative, oversight, budgetary approval and representative functions, Parliaments can transpose international agreements on climate change financing into national legislation and ensure they are effectively enforced and implemented through adequate budgets and robust oversight. 

Honourable Mutti informed the meeting that, in order to address some of the challenges on matters of gender and climate change, the National Assembly of Zambia is finalizing modalities, through the Standing Orders, of transforming the Zambia Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus (ZWPC) and the Zambian Parliamentary Caucus on Environment and Climate Change (ZPCECC) into stand-alone portfolio Committees of Parliament.