Why is it important to consider gender equality when taking action on climate change? This paper outlines gender-specific vulnerabilities and responses to climate change - for example male out-migration may occur due to resource shortages, thereby generating increased work for women. Similarly, women's informal rights to resources could decrease or disappear as access to land and natural resources dwindle. Interventions should therefore create greater awareness and understanding of the complex links between gender equality and the environment, so as to help build the capacity of the poor - especially poor women - to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Recommendations for policy and programming include the need to promote cleaner burning and more efficient fuel for household use to reduce air pollution and cut costs. Also useful is the provision of tools, including vulnerability assessments, that build on local and indigenous knowledge held by women and men of measures to adapt to the impacts of climate change.