Gender impact of the upcoming Climate and Energy Strategy assessed

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 16.9.2021 14.54
Press release
Kuvassa energia-alalla työskentelevä nainen aurinkopaneelien keskellä
Kuvaaja Joel Forsman

Finland’s Climate and Energy Strategy, which will be completed towards the end of the year, has been assessed for its gender impact, in accordance with the Government Action Plan for Gender Equality. The report examines the different impacts that the proposed policy measures have on men and women. 

The researchers' assessment shows that gender mainstreaming in the design of measures is important for both equality and the acceptability and effectiveness of climate action.

In the Government Action Plan for Gender Equality 2020-2023, ministries named key projects in which the gender perspective will be included. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment decided to carry out the assessment in connection with the update of the Climate and Energy Strategy. A research group consisting of Oxford Research, Equality Research Helsinki and Gaia Consulting conducted the study. 

“The effects of energy and climate policy on gender have not been studied in Finland before. It is necessary to continue working to develop climate policy impact assessments from different perspectives”, says Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä.

The report examined the gender impacts of the policy measures proposed for the Climate and Energy Strategy. The assessment includes 101 policy measures. They are preliminary proposals included in the preparatory phase in spring 2021, not the final measures to be selected for the Strategy. 

The research group examined the human impacts of the measures and how gendered they are in six sectors: energy production, construction and buildings, transport, industry, the service sector and agriculture. The most important conclusions of the researchers are:

  • The policy measures mainly fall on male-dominated sectors, contain technical solutions that are of interest to men and have a greater impact on men’s consumer habits. From this perspective, the proposed measures and their consequences could be considered a greater burden to men.
  • However, the overall impact on economic activity and employment is positive in male-dominated sectors (energy production, construction, transport, industry and forestry), even though male-dominated jobs related to fossil fuels, in particular, will disappear. 
  • Instead, the most significant negative impacts on employment will be felt in female-dominated service sectors. More consideration should be paid to this fact in climate policy. The impact of the proposed measures on service sectors highlights the importance of gender-aware budgeting for climate policy and the pressing need to dismantle gender segregation in sectors that benefit from climate measures. Increasing education of women both for (male-dominated) sectors benefiting from climate measures, and for energy-related tasks in the service sector should be among the objectives of the Climate and Energy Strategy.
  • Women and young people are more prepared to make and support climate-friendly decisions. However, the proposed measures emphasise men’s inclusion in climate policy, because they mainly target male-dominated sectors, influence men’s consumer habits and include technical solutions that are interesting to men. In addition to technical solutions, more focus should be put on measures that increase women’s inclusion in climate policy. This could lead to higher emissions reductions. 

Markku Kinnunen, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel.  +358 29 506 4792
Juho-Matti Paavola, Analyst, Oxford Research, tel. +358 44 203 2012