Climate Change and Gender in Rich Countries: Work, public policy and action, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Climate Change and Gender in Rich Countries

Work, public policy and action, 1st Edition

Edited by Marjorie Griffin Cohen


322 pages | 20 B/W Illus.

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Climate change is at the forefront of ideas about public policy, the economy and labour issues. However, the gendered dimensions of climate change and the public policy issues associated with it in wealthy nations are much less understood.

Climate Change and Gender in Rich Countries covers a wide range of issues dealing with work and working life. The book demonstrates the gendered distinctions in both experiences of climate change and the ways that public policy deals with it. The book draws on case studies from the UK, Sweden, Australia, Canada, Spain and the US to address key issues such as: how gendered distinctions affect the most vulnerable; paid and unpaid work; and activism on climate change. It is argued that including gender as part of the analysis will lead to more equitable and stronger societies as solutions to climate change advance.

This volume will be of great relevance to students, scholars, trade unionists and international organisations with an interest in climate change, gender, public policy and environmental studies.


"This book is unique in that it provides a forward looking full-scale gender analysis that moves beyond common perceptions of women as vulnerable victims to show there are no universal experiences of climate change. Gender is highly relevant but in complex ways." – Annica Kronsell, Professor, Political Science, Lund University, Sweden

"These are elegantly written essays that urgently address the dearth of information about the implications of climate change by gender in the rich countries. This volume takes stock of the current global order and sets a compelling research and political agenda for tackling the systemic changes needed for progress whilst remaining sensitive to the intersectionality of experiences brought to life through this important book." – Isabella Bakker, FRSC, Distinguished Research Professor, York University, Canada

"By putting gender at the centre of its analysis and policy discussions this path-breaking book highlights that climate change poses inescapable challenges for all of us. Crucially it also points to the need for activism and contestation in order to forge a sustainable and fairer world for future generations." – Rhonda Sharp, Professor of Economics, University of South Australia, Australia and former President of the International Association for Feminist Economics

"This is a timely volume that breaks a strange silence: it provides critical analysis and compelling evidence that gender inequality shapes experiences of and responses to climate change as much in rich countries as it does in poor countries, albeit in different ways. It is an invaluable resource to all of us who are committed to understanding climate change as a feminist and social justice issue." – Sherilyn MacGregor, Reader in Environmental Politics, The University of Manchester, UK

"Putting a gender lens on Climate Change is putting a gender lens on Aboriginal issues, forestry, natural disasters, just transition, agriculture, water, energy, jobs, health, resource extraction, government policies, food security, mitigation and adaptation, housing, and transportation. Reading this book exposes the injustices and offers concrete solutions." – Donald Lafleur, Vice Président Exécutif, Canadian Labour Congress, Canada

"This excellent, wide-ranging, multi-disciplinary, collection makes a welcome and valuable contribution to redressing the gender balance in rich countries, and to cultivating broader gender and climate change scholarship." – Karen Morrow, College of Law and Criminology, Swansea University, Wales, UK

"An exciting collection of top scholars comes together in this path-breaking book to decipher the collision of two of today’s hottest political topics: gender and climate change. It reveals how this massive problem of climate change is better tackled when gender forms the centre of policy solutions." – Kennedy Stewart, MP, Opposition Science Critic, New Democratic Party, Parliament of Canada.

Table of Contents

Part One: Context and Overview

  1. Introduction: Why Gender Matters when Dealing with Climate Change Marjorie Griffin Cohen
  2. Masculinities of Global Climate Change: Exploring Ecomodern, Industrial and Ecological Masculinity Martin Hultman & Jonas Anshelm
  3. It’s Not Just the Numbers: Challenging Masculinist Working Practices in Climate Change Decision-Making in UK Government and Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations Susan Buckingham & Rakibe Kulcur
  4. Part Two: Challenges for Paid and Unpaid Work

  5. Women and Low Energy Construction in Europe: A New Opportunity? Linda Clarke
  6. Renewable Inequity? Women’s Employment in Clean Energy in Industrialized, Emerging and Developing Economies Bipasha Baruah
  7. UK Environmental and Trade Union Groups’ Struggles to Integrate Gender Issues into Climate Change Analysis and Activism Carl Mandy
  8. Transporting Difference at Work: Taking Gendered Intersectionality Seriously in Climate Change Agendas Leonora Angeles
  9. The US Example of Integrating Gender and Climate Change in Training: Response to the 2008–09 Recession Marjorie Griffin Cohen
  10. Part Three: Vulnerability, Insecurity and Work

  11. Gendered Outcomes in Post-Disaster Sites: Public Policy and Resource Distribution Margaret Alston
  12. Climate Change, Traditional Roles, and Work– Interactions in the Inuit Nunangat Mike Kim
  13. Towards Humane Jobs: Recognizing Gendered, Multispecies Intersections and Possibilities Kendra Coulter
  14. Part Four: Rural and Resource Communities

  15. Maybe Tomorrow Will Be Better: Gender and Farm Work in a Changing Climate Amber Fletcher
  16. Understanding the Gender Labours of Adaptation to Climate Change in Forest-Based Communities Through Different Models of Analysis Maureen G. Reed
  17. The Complex Impacts of Intensive Resource Extraction on Women, Children and Aboriginal Peoples: Towards Contextually-Informed Approaches to Climate Change and Health Maya K Gislason, Chris Buse, Shayna Dolan, Margot W Parkes, Jemma Tosh, Bob Woollard
  18. Part Five: Public Policy and Activism

  19. How a Gendered Understanding of Climate Change Can Help Shape Canadian Climate Policy Nathalie Chalifour
  20. The Integration of Gender in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Québec: Silos and Possibilities Annie Rochette
  21. A Gendered Analysis of Housing Policies in the Context of Climate Change: A Comparison of Canada and Spain Penny Gurstein & Sara Ortiz Escalante
  22. Canadian Indigenous Female Leadership and Political Agency on Climate Change Patricia E. Perkins
  23. Using Information about Gender and Climate Change to Inform Green Economic Policies Marjorie Griffin Cohen

About the Editor

Marjorie Griffin Cohen is an economist and a Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University, Canada.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Climate, Work and Society

Globally, the world is browning, not greening. In 2010 greenhouse gas emissions rose 5.9%, the largest annual increase since measurement began. In 2013 the earth’s atmosphere crossed the dangerous threshold of 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The complexity, destructiveness and speed of changes to the climate have made global warming an urgent social issue. It is a challenge the world cannot ignore.

Climate change has already shaken up the nature of work and the distribution of employment within and between countries, regions and communities. It is changing how we work, what we produce, and where we can produce it. It disrupts the lives of workers and the global supply chains of transnational corporations, undermines governments and creates a new class of precarity—climate migrants. But at the same time as global warming destroys livelihoods and communities, it is forcing the emergence of new ways to organise work. Climate-related occupations and professions are defensively springing up, and trade unions and farmers’ unions in some countries are factoring environmental stewardship into their 21st century responsibilities as custodians of decent work for the next generations.

The world of work is a crucial, although neglected, part of the climate struggle. Work and workplaces of every size—factories, offices and mines, farms, schools, hospitals and home offices—are significant producers of greenhouse gas emissions. In developed countries, work can produce 80% or more of the greenhouse gases created by human activity. Polluters yes, but can workers and unions also be powerful actors in the struggle to slow global warming?

In The Routledge Studies in Climate, Work and Society series, scholars and other thinkers at the forefront of constructing a strategic link between work and climate change contribute to identifying the issues, evaluating policies and silences, tracking change, and stimulating international exchange of ideas and experience. Collectively, the books in this series will emphasise fresh thinking, strategic creativity, international and inter-sectoral comparisons and contribute to the further development of the role of work in societal responses to global warming.

Series Editor: Dr. Carla Lipsig-Mummé, Professor of Work and Labour Studies, York University, Canada

Editorial Board:

Professor Elaine Bernard, Executive Director, Labor and Worklife Program Harvard Law School, Harvard University, US

Professor Emeritus Richard Hyman, Industrial Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science UK

Dr. Kenneth Odero, Climate XL-Africa, Kenya

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy