Climate Justice Requires Women's Leadership
Only a third of leadership positions in climate-change negotiations are held by women, even though women are the most vulnerable to the worst effects of global warming. Absent the active participation of women and girls in local, national, and global climate strategies, a carbon-neutral future will remain out of reach.
NEW YORK – The world is well aware that the climate crisis is one of the main stumbling blocks to sustainable development. And yet, despite the dramatic evidence of the lethal consequences of climate change, and despite possessing the knowledge, technologies, and resources to fix it, we continue on the same high-carbon path that threatens our survival.
We also know that climate stabilization depends on a whole-of-society response, and thus on all citizens’ equal and fair participation in governance. That has not happened, either: Women have been underrepresented in climate decision-making. And while this trend has slowly been reversed, much more needs to be done to advance a gender-sensitive response to climate change. Three imperatives stand out: women’s leadership, indigenous rights, and education.
Efforts to improve gender parity in climate governance have been ongoing for nearly a decade. In 2014, delegates to COP20 adopted the Lima Work Programme on Gender to encourage the inclusion of more women in climate-change negotiations. But five years later, at COP25 in Madrid, 60% of government delegates and 73% of heads and deputy heads of delegations were men.