Better Together: Joining Women's Empowerment Co-benefits with Carbon Reduction & Solar Cookers

November 13, 2017

WOCAN co-hosted a side event at COP 23 in Bonn together with FairClimateFund and Solar Cookers International on 13 Nov. This was an opportunity for the three organizations to show case how they are bridging climate solutions and women’s empowerment. Maria Lee WOCAN Assistant Director, introduced the event with a short movie showing the W+ application to a Nepal biogas project which received the UNFCCC Momentum for Change award in 2016 ( ). She then presented the partnership between WOCAN and VCS (Voluntary Carbon Standard), which provides carbon project developers a new resource for integrating quantifiable women’s empowerment and social benefits into their carbon projects, and for carbon credits’ buyers the option to offset their carbon footprint while benefiting women.  

Caitlyn Hughes, Program Director at Solar Cookers International gave an overview of the organizations’ strategy and the solar cooking projects they support in Africa and Asia in collaboration with local partners. She explained the impacts of these projects on climate, communities and particularly women through the lens of the W+ framework and the SDGs. Caitlyn concluded with recommendations to accelerate access to clean energy for all in the nationally determined contributions (NDCs). 

Neera van der Geest, Managing Director of FairClimateFund presented the approach of her organization, which invests in clean cooking projects and sells Fairtrade Carbon Credits (FCCs) at fair prices to companies and organizations. Communities generating the carbon credits own the project themselves and are therefore able to generate income by selling their carbon credits. A Fairtrade Premium is paid in addition to the payment for the FCCs, which goes directly to the local communities. While FairClimateFund already measures some impact of their projects on women’s empowerment such as health benefits and time saved, Neera mentioned her interest to collaborate with WOCAN and use the W+ to quantify those impacts.