Dennis Van Der Veur at COP28

EIGE is attending COP28 to highlight the connection between gender equality and the environment. And to raise awareness about the need to incorporate a gender perspective into climate-related policies.

Follow along as Dennis Van Der Veur, EIGE's Head of Outreach and Engagement, shares his insights in regular updates in this newsfeed. 

14/12/2023: COP28 has come to an end – 198 countries call for gender-responsive approaches while fighting climate change

Today the COP28 climate summit has come to a closure. There's a palpable sense of hope mixed with criticism, but also enthusiasm for action.

Gender equality was a prominent part of COP28 – for the first time a ‘gender day’ took place during COP. The urgency to have gender mainstreamed was underlined in a new UN Women report launched at COP28, suggesting that by 2050, climate change may push up to 158 million more women and girls into poverty and see 236 million more face food insecurity.

68 Parties at COP28 endorsed a Gender-Responsive Just Transitions & Climate Action Partnership. This Partnership includes a package of commitments on finance, data and equal opportunities. This partnership is aiming to build upon progress made through the Gender Action Plan.



Yesterday was ‘gender day’ at COP28. Several events took place simultaneously, both inside and outside the COP28 meeting hall. Inside the hall, the Gender-Responsive Just Transitions & Climate Action Partnership was announced, which was endorsed by over 60 countries. The partnership includes a package of commitments that signatories will implement over the next three years, such as accessible funding, gender-responsive budgeting, and data. Meanwhile, outside the venue, young climate and gender equality activists protested, demanding that “climate justice means gender justice.”

In the run-up to ‘gender day’, I participated in a discussion organised by the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) on climate finance for gender equality. I shared key messages from EIGE’s research and how our evidence can help to secure a gender-sensitive approach to a green transition in the EU. For example, I alerted to the higher vulnerability many women face regarding energy poverty and alluded to promising practices we should all be looking at. EIGE is currently collecting good practices, to be launched in early 2024. 

After the event, I spoke with two of my co-panellists - Zonibel Woods (Asian Development Bank) and Amalie Holmefjord (Norwegian Youth Delegate) - and listened to their inspiring #ThreeStepsForward on gender equality and climate change. 

I also co-facilitated a workshop titled “Delivering a gender-responsive just transition for all,” organized by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In this workshop, we collected good practices on how women’s organizations’ access to climate funding, decision-making, participation, and consultation can be better secured. A very inspiring session where the concrete lived realities of women from Latin America and Africa made me feel humble – climate change is real and happening in real-time. The session brought a spark of hope as participants identified many concrete practices as to how to improve access to bank loans, funding mechanisms, and how to improve women in decision-making. Look here to see what gender-responsive climate finance can look like. 

The session was a reminder that so much more needs to be done to improve women’s opportunities to participate in and shape the green economy, especially through ensuring that women benefit equally from projects focusing on clean technology and renewable energy. This is also relevant for the EU context, e.g., for the REPowerEU plan, which aims to diversify its energy supplies to safeguard EU citizens and businesses. The EU Energy Days at COP28 will highlight how the EU has responded to the changing situation with the REPowerEU plan by accelerating its energy transition. A gender perspective is crucial, as EIGE’s evidence has shown.

As the end of week 1 of COP28 approaches, the negotiations on the (draft) decision on gender and climate change (with a focus on the Gender Action Plan) are ongoing. We will keep you updated on the outcome of this process. 

04/12/2023: Women and men from indigenous communities and young people from the Global South take central stage at #COP28. This is how it should be.

They share with us the concrete ways climate change affects them. At an excellent event hosted by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Global Centre for Climate Mobility young people from Tuvalu and Palau, amongst others,discussed with the President of the UN General Assembly, Dennis Francis (from Trinidad and Tobago) their fears of climate change immediately affecting the future of their communities. They are concerned that their lands will not survive further rising of the ocean and other results of climate change. 

In another event, which focused on the Right to a Healthy Environment an indigenous rights activist shared with the audience the direct threats environmental rights defenders face, many of whom are women. The United Nations has also reported on the patterns of killings environmental rights defenders encounter.  In the same session, Nafiso, a young Somali woman, told the audience how climate change is already affecting her generation’s ability to enjoy a healthy environment, schooling and housing. David R. Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, provided context and some hope regarding legal mechanism put in place to protect the environment. Earlier this year, the UN Special Rapporteur presented his report on women, girls, and the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment and recommended gender-transformative measures.

Listening to these stories makes me realise again how much is at stake, here and now. In many conversations I have had here at COP, people welcome the existence of institutes such as EIGE, and the fact that EIGE managed to publish its groundbreaking thematic focus on the European Green Deal (transport and energy). Indeed, such data is so much needed, as women, girls and marginalised communities disproportionately suffer from climate change and environmental disasters, as shown in the sessions this week at COP. 

03/12/2023: Climate finance for gender equality

Today, Dennis spoke at #COP28 at the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) event ‘Climate finance for gender equality’. It was a pleasure to discuss the importance of financing and integrating a gender perspective into climate projects. Watch the recording of the event here

02/12/2023: #COP28 has now officially started.

The buzz in Dubai is overwhelming with many parallel meetings, side events and press conferences. And COP started on a positive note: nearly 200 countries agreed to launch a fund to support countries hit by global warming, in what is described as a "historic" move. The "loss and damage" fund has been one of the long-standing demands by climate activists.

Preparatory work on gender and climate has also kicked off. I attended an informal consultation meeting on ‘gender and climate change’ that countries present here at COP28 use to align approaches to ensure that gender remains high on the COP agenda. There is also a dedicated ‘gender day’ at COP28 (4 December). On that day I will take part in a few meetings, bringing in European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) evidence on gender and climate (this year’s focus of EIGE’s Gender Equality Index report).

I also had the opportunity to speak to Agnes Schim van der Loeff who is Policy Advisor Climate Justice at ActionAid Netherlands . Listen to what drives her to be at COP28. 


Watch this brief and inspiring video message from Dennis as the COP event kicks off.


Dennis Van Der Veur and Manal BidarDuring my very first day at #COP28, I listened and spoke to Manal Bidar, Youth Climate Activist of Morocco. She told the audience that although she had been climate activist for years, she had never thought about the intersectionality between climate and gender equality. And she is not the only one. Her sentiments are shared by many of us since – collectively - we are just beginning to delve into this topic. We are merely scratching the surface. 

EIGE has taken its own initial step forward by presenting a Green Deal thematic focus this year, which will provide a better understanding of how these interlinkages work, for example in the areas of transport and energy. And we are inviting others to join us in identifying steps to move towards a green and gender-equal future. #3StepsForward

29/11/2023: Why COP28 is an important step towards a cleaner, greener world AND gender equality

I'm an optimist. I believe messages of hope are what inspire real, meaningful action. And COP28 is a great platform to share those messages.

What gives me hope is seeing the climate debate and the environmental movement being led by so many young people...

Dennis Van Der Veur will be attending COP28 on behalf of EIGE. You can contact him today to discuss how EIGE can help you to make gender equality and the Green Deal a reality. Email us today at