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The W+ Standard: Meeting Both Climate and Gender Equality Goals

Michelle Parra-Guedez
Today, we wanted to highlight a organisation which support project that want to reach the SDG n°5: Gender Equality. Women represent a bit more than half of the population on Earth. it is now obvious to count on them and promote them to reduce the climate crisis we are going through.

Parties to the UNFCCC adopted a Gender Action Plan and included gender equality in the overarching text of the Paris Agreement. By doing so, governments recognized women as important agents of change in the fight against global warming. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognize that gender equality and women’s empowerment are critical to achieving all 16 other goals.
Indeed, women play a critical role in response to climate change due to their local knowledge and leadership in sustainable resource management at the household and community levels. However, these contributions remain mostly invisible and rarely compensated.

What gets measured gets valued: 6 types of impacts on women

The W+ StandardTM is a unique certification label that measures and quantifies development and climate projects’ impacts on women’s empowerment in six areas: Time, Income & Assets, Leadership, Education & Knowledge, Health, and Food Security. The measurement of progress on women’s empowerment is verified by an external auditor, and results in W+ units - a quantifiable and realized improvement in a woman’s life.

W+ units are registered on the IHS Markit global registry, providing complete transparency, and can be sold by project developers to investors, companies, and individuals who want to support women’s empowerment and report on their results towards meeting Sustainable Development Goal #5.

Streamlined process to reduce carbon emissions while benefitting women
It is now possible for climate projects that produce positive outcomes for women’s empowerment to apply the W+ StandardTM and generate W+ units or W+ labeled carbon units to show their contributions to multiple SDGs simultaneously. Carbon units with co-benefits are likely to obtain premium prices and be more attractive to buyers.
The W+ StandardTM is partnering with VERRA to offer project developers and unit purchasers the opportunity to achieve both emissions reductions and women’s empowerment in a
streamlined process. Projects using the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) can
take advantage of dual-purpose compliance measures to generate W+ labeled Verified Carbon Units. Projects using other social and environmental certifications can also use the W+
StandardTM as a parallel certification.

Purchasing W+ units helps women
The W+ StandardTM is the only standard that both quantifies positive outcomes for women, AND includes a benefit sharing mechanism that directs money to them. As required by the Standard, at least 20% of the revenue from W+ unit sales is given to women’s groups engaged in the project to be utilized as they see best fit to address community needs and opportunities.

W+ triple wins: Women, Project Developers and W+ unit buyers

To know more about the W+ StandardTM, visit their website www.wplus.org or contact the W+ Coordinator: wpluscoordinator@wocan.org.
This aricle was kindly written
Article written by Michelle Parra-Guedez