Women have lifestyles that emit less greenhouse gases (GHG) on average than men, but they are more victims of climate change, according to a note from an economist consulted Tuesday by AFP.

"While it may seem at first glance that climate change (for which greenhouse gases are largely responsible, editor's note) affects the entire population in the same way, studies highlight gender disparities in the behaviors causing greenhouse gas emissions and in the consequences of climate change," according to a post by Oriane Wegner quoted by the daily Libération and to appear in extenso Wednesday on the website of the Bank of France.

On the occasion of the #JournéeDesDroitsDesFemmes, the Eco Notepad publishes an article that highlights the interactions between gender and differences in greenhouse gas emissions and vulnerability to climate change.
🗣️ Presentation of the ticket by its author ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/eeb07i1gBO

— Bank of France (@banquedefrance) March 8, 2023

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More meat and fuel for men

Oriane Wegner, a specialist in climate economics at this institution, uses a 2021 Swedish study to assert that "men's consumption items are responsible for 16% more GHGs on average" than those of women. The difference is explained by the propensity of men to consume goods and services that emit more, such as fuel.

Diet may also play a role, as "a less meaty diet results in lower emissions." However, according to an Ifop survey of May 2021, in France, two-thirds of vegetarians (67%) are women.

In 2021, single men emitted an average of ten tons of greenhouse gases, compared to just over 8 tons for single women, even though the expenses of the former are "barely 2%" higher than those of the latter. However, while gender is a "relevant" criterion for explaining disparities in emissions, "income level often plays a more important role," warns Wegner.

Women more affected by climate change

Faced with the consequences of climate change, men and women are not equal. According to UN work cited by Oriane Wegner, 80% of people driven from their homes by extreme weather events are women, and more women than men died as a result of the 2005 Hurricane Katrina in the United States.

"National public policies and international policy frameworks could benefit from taking into account the interactions between gender and the environment to strengthen their effectiveness, and their articulation with climate justice objectives," concludes the author, whose note does not commit the Bank of France.

  • Society
  • Climate
  • Gender equality
  • Women's Rights Day
  • Pollution
  • Greenhouse gases