Tackling climate change and gender justice – integral; not optional


  • Karen Lesley Morrow Swansea University


Gender, Andropocene, climate change, UNFCCC, governance, Género, Andropoceno, cambio climático, CMNUCC, gobernanza


This paper examines the relationship between gender justice and climate change, arguing that, to meaningfully address the issues that arise in this context, it is imperative to engage not only with matters of principle, but also with the practicalities of gender exclusion in respect of climate change itself and the praxis of global climate governance. The discussion briefly considers key gendered societal and scientific contexts that form part of the complex substrate that situates climate change in reality, academic and political debate, and which ground and shape the global climate change regime. These considerations explain why, while there is now a systemic acknowledgment of the need to act on gender issues in principle in the UNFCCC regime, the effectiveness of recently adopted strategies is not a given, and more profoundly, it behoves us to consider how their efficacy might be improved as we seek to mature global climate governance.

Este artículo examina la relación entre justicia de género y cambio climático, argumentando que, para ocuparse de forma significativa de los problemas que surgen en este contexto, es imperativo implicarse no sólo con temas de principio, sino también con aspectos prácticos de la exclusión de género respecto al cambio climático mismo y con la praxis de la gobernanza climática global. El debate toma brevemente en consideración contextos generizados claves en sociedad y ciencia que forman parte del complejo substrato que sitúa el cambio climático en la realidad y en el debate académico y político, y que estabilizan y dan forma al régimen de cambio climático global. Dichas consideraciones explican por qué, si bien existe ahora un reconocimiento sistémico de la necesidad de actuar sobre temas de género en principio en el régimen de la CMNUCC, la efectividad de estrategias recientemente adoptadas no se debe dar por hecha, y, en más profundidad, nos incumbe reflexionar sobre cómo se puede mejorar su eficacia a medida que intentamos madurar la gobernanza climática global.

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Author Biography

Karen Lesley Morrow, Swansea University

Morrow has been Professor of Environmental Law at Swansea University since 2007. Her research interests focus on theoretical and practical aspects of public participation in environmental law and policy and on gender and the environment. She has published extensively in these areas. She is on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Human Rights and the Environment, the Environmental Law Review, and the University of Western Australia Law Review. She is a series editor for Critical Reflections on Human Rights and the Environment (Edward Elgar) and sits on the international advisory board for the Gender and Environment book series (Routledge). She is a member of the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment.




How to Cite

Morrow, K. L. (2021) “Tackling climate change and gender justice – integral; not optional”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 11(1), pp. 207–230. Available at: https://opo.iisj.net/index.php/osls/article/view/1215 (Accessed: 24 April 2024).