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Copyright © 2002 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance.

The following is the established format for referencing this article:
Pandey, N. 2002. Gender economics of the Kyoto Protocol. Conservation Ecology 6(1): r14. [online] URL: http://www.consecol.org/vol6/iss1/resp14/

Response to Gatto et al. 2002. "The Kyoto Protocol is cost-effective"

Gender Economics of the Kyoto Protocol

Neha Pandey

Climate & Women Group

Published: June 26, 2002

Global climate change is threatening the social, economic, and ecological systems of our world. By showing that the Kyoto Protocol is cost effective, Gatto et al. (2002) present a compelling argument for its implementation.

Missing from the climate-change debate, however, is the differential impact of climate change on women, and how implementation of the Kyoto Protocol could specifically benefit economically disadvantaged women in developing countries. The argument favoring implementation of the Kyoto Protocol would be strengthened if it included a recognition of gender economics.

Any fruitful discussion on the economics of climate change must consider: the additional work burden of women (Levine et al. 2001) and female children (Levine et al. 2002); the differences, according to gender, in access to resources and consumption patterns (Carlsson-Kanyama et al. 1999); and the comparative vulnerability of women to climate change (IPCC 2001). Men and women have differential knowledge of local resources and climate issues (Harding 1998, O'Connor et al. 1998, Vedwan and Rhoades 2001). Women can play a crucial role in climate-change mitigation through adaptive management of local resources (Gunderson et al. 1995), thereby saving ecosystems from catastrophic shifts (Scheffer et al. 2001).

Women should be active and equal partners in the decision-making process on the Clean Development Mechanism, as well as in capacity building, technology transfer, vulnerability studies, and projects concerning climate-change mitigation and adaptation (Wamukonya and Skutsch 2002).

Scientific and policy efforts on climate-change mitigation and sustainable development should, therefore, also pay attention to the profound influence that gender economics has in any collective attempt to build a sustainable society.


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I am grateful to Professor Lance Gunderson for his encouraging and insightful comments. I appreciate Caroline Simpson, Michelle Lee, Allyson Quinlan, Pushp Deep Pandey, K. Wijesiri, Dr. Margaret Skutsch, Professor Paula Kavathas, Professor James Levine, and Dr. Njeri Wamukonya for their suggestions and help. I acknowledge the support by IPCC Secretariat, WMO, Geneva, UNFCCC Library& Documentation Centre, Bonn, Germany, and the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, Arlington, USA.


Carlsson-Kanyama, A., A.-L. Linden, and A. Thelander. 1999. Gender differences in environmental impacts from patterns of transportation—a case study from Sweden. Society and Natural Resources 12: 355–369.

Gatto, M., A. Caizzi, L. Rizzi, and G. A. De Leo. 2002. The Kyoto Protocol is cost-effective. Conservation Ecology 6(1): r11. [Online, URL: http://www.consecol.org/vol6/iss1/resp11.]

Gunderson, L., C. S. Holling, and S. Light, editors. 1995. Barriers and bridges to the renewal of ecosystems and institutions. Columbia University Press, New York, New York, USA.

Harding, S. 1998. Women, science, and society. Science 281:1599–1600.

IPCC. 2001. Climate change 2001: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Levine, J. A., R. Weisell, S. Chevassus, C. D. Martinez, B. Burlingame, and W. A. Coward. 2001. The work burden of women. Science 294: 812.

Levine, J. A., R. Weisell, S. Chevassus, C. D. Martinez, and B. Burlingame. 2002. Looking at child labor. Science 296: 1025–1026.

O'Connor, R. E, R. J. Bord, and A. Fisher. 1998. The curious impact of knowledge about climate change on risk perceptions and willingness to sacrifice. Risk Decision and Policy 3: 145–155.

Scheffer, M., S. Carpenter, J. A. Foley, C. Folke, and B. Walker. 2001. Catastrophic shifts in ecosystems. Nature 413: 591–596.

Vedwan, N., and R. E. Rhoades. 2001. Climate change in the Western Himalayas of India: a study of local perception and response. Climate Research 19: 109–117.

Wamukonya, N., and M. Skutsch. 2002. Gender angle to the climate change negotiations. Energy and Environment 13: 115–124.

Address of Correspondent:
Neha Pandey
Sarojini Naidu Government Girls Post Graduate College
Shivaji Nagar
Bhopal-462 016
Phone: 91-755-763490

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