Assessing GBA+ as a tool for climate justice
In 2018, British Columbia’s (BC) provincial government released CleanBC, and in 2021 BC released the Roadmap to 2030, two cross-ministry efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build a green economy. While governments worldwide are urged to contribute to climate change mitigation efforts, there are also increasing equity concerns about who benefits from and who bears the burden of these climate policies. Despite government initiatives including the use of Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) – an analytical tool used to assess how people experience policies and to advance evidence-based decision-making, the efficacy of such tools is uncertain. It remains unclear whether BC’s climate policies adequately represent those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. This study involved document analysis and interviews with eight key informants to understand the role of GBA+ and other governance practices in advancing climate justice (CJ). The research shows that the BC government does not adequately consider the needs of marginalized or vulnerable groups in its climate plans, and that GBA+ is beneficial as an introduction to intersectionality but is not sufficient for advancing CJ. Several actions are recommended to governments based on these findings, including being intentional about CJ, strengthening GBA+ implementation, fostering a culture of learning, and reimagining our systems. As the effects of climate change and the burdens of mitigation efforts are not evenly distributed, climate policies must emphasize community needs through a CJ lens.