Powering Equality: Women’s entrepreneurship transforming Asia’s energy sector is an initiative by the joint UN Environment Programme-UN Women project- EmPower: Women for Climate-Resilient Societies. It captures the evidence and lessons that make the policy and business case for investing in women-led energy enterprises and supply chains. The report considers various business models spanning across sectors like agriculture, WASH, public infrastructure, nutrition, and the urgent need to ramp up support and investments to these enterprises in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in Asia and the Pacific.
The Asia Pacific region still has a long way to go to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Global efforts to reducing GHG emissions still remain a challenge for this for this hard-hit region. Compounding this, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new challenges, as well as deepened existing inequalities, which impact communities and economies as they begin the road through crisis response and socio-economic recovery to try and build back better. The shift in the energy sector, towards a renewable decarbonized system, provides an important opportunity for the Asia Pacific region in this recovery. This transition is particularly important in mediating the energy access gap that prevails in the region.
This opportunity is particularly important for women and girls in the region, who have shown to be disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the same way they are disproportionately impacted by climate change. Yet women have proven to be active agents of change, creating new markets and delivering affordable and sustainable clean energy access to last mile users. Supporting women’s entrepreneurship in clean energy, both as customers and sellers of products and services of renewable energy can be transformational for communities to meet the dual challenges of climate change and the pandemic.
Through the project, EmPower: Women for Climate-Resilient Societies, that is jointly implemented with UN Women, UNEP hosted an online event to virtually launch its new publication “Power Equality: Women’s entrepreneurship transforming Asia’s energy sector” which examines energy access, the need to build climate-resilient livelihoods for women in Asia and practical examples from the region to realize this. CTCN Gender Focal Point Karina Larsen also joined the panel.