Towards a Feminist Foreign Climate Policy: considerations for the EU

Executive summary

The climate crisis, its impacts and the actions needed to rapidly slow it down and respond to it effectively require an intersectional and gender-responsive lens. The most recent 6th Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has given strong attention to equitable, just and enabling ways to address mitigation and adaptation. This is based on the reality that structural inequities and unequal power relationships are key reasons why the climate crisis is particularly harmful for already marginalised groups and people in all their diversity. Europe, and the EU in particular, must step up towards human-rights based climate action efforts in an effective, participatory and inclusive way ensuring social and climate justice. This requires an intersectional, decolonial, anti-racist and gender-transformative approach to dismantle the roots of injustice and inequality, breaking down existing power relations between all genders as well as in other contexts.

This paper connects the EU’s external climate policy efforts with emerging developments and debates under a feminist foreign policy discourse, including examples of how the latter integrate climate action. It looks into key building blocks and entry points for enhancing feminist perspectives and principles in EU’s climate foreign policy.

However, it is also based on the conviction that a truly feminist foreign policy cannot succeed without fully embedding aspects and actions central to global climate justice, given the fundamental challenges the climate crisis poses and how it interlinks with the multiple other crises mentioned before. 


Eventually it concludes with more specific, detailed recommendations contributing to the following seven  overarching recommendations.

  • Clear political commitments and accountability frameworks for a feminist approach to climate diplomacy;
  • Deliver on international climate finance commitments with a strengthened gender lens;
  • Increase active and significant participation of women and marginalised groups in all their diversity in decision-making in the climate diplomacy context;
  • Strengthen feminist, gender and social inclusion aspects in EU specific finance instruments;
  • Re-orient the Global Gateway strategy with a strengthened feminist policy analysis;
  • Commit to feminist aspects in the European External Action Service;
  • Implement  feminist aspects in monitoring and data collection.


Download the full briefing here.



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