Better Together: Women’s Empowerment Co-Benefits with Carbon Standards

September 20, 2017

To celebrate the recently announced partnership with the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), WOCAN hosted two panel sessions on September 20th in New York City. In the first session titled “Better Together: Women’s Empowerment Co-Benefits with Carbon Standards”, David Antonioli, CEO of VCS emphasized that this partnership is a game changer and powerful mechanism for carbon project developers to focus on women who can significantly impact climate change. Jeannette also added that this partnership provides an opportunity to design projects which start with women’s empowerment rather than adding gender activities at the end of the project cycle. Amanda Ellis, Board Member of UN Women’s Empowerment Principle, former Lead, Specialist Gender World Bank emphasized that we cannot afford to wait for national policies to catch up to the immediate needs to tackle climate change issues. She also emphasized that the VCS and W+ partnership as a game changer as it brings climate change and gender issues together in a way that is measurable and able to be monetized. Amanda also explained the multiplier effect of recognizing the role of women in tackling climate change and increasing women’s economic empowerment. Moon Herrick, REDD+ Consultant of the Green Climate Fund, explained that W+ Standard can help GCF to assure that the funds are being used in line with their gender policies. 

Watch the full video of session one below:


The speakers of the second panel session on ‘Creating New Opportunities: The Value of a Women’s Empowerment Co-Benefit’ were carbon project developers with diverse portfolios who shared their insights on the value of integrating the W+ to measure co-benefit. Ingo Puhl, Director for Strategy of the South Pole Group, discussed his initial hesitation to think about women and carbon together, but soon got on board as he saw the increased interested of the carbon community on SDG goals and because W+ is driven by WOCAN which provides credibility to the standard. David Ungar, Executive Director of the ACWA Power emphasized that W+ standard has the potential to connect the climatic effects emotionally and which he believes is the only way to tackle the challenges. Jonathan Shopley, Managing Director of the Natural Capital Partners expressed that partnerships such as W+ and VCS is a good way to test the market demand for carbon credits with co-benefits. Diane Holdorf, Chief Sustainability Officer and VP of Kellogg Company, expressed that the partnership of W+ and VCS provides a good model for monetization of the efforts on the ground, such as the work Kellogg is doing with small-holder farmers with their mission to improve the lives of half a million farmers in the world by climate-smart agriculture practices by 2030. 

Watch the full video of session two below: