Written by Pooran Desai OBE (Founder) and Niamh James (Researcher)
Women will be critical to fighting climate change… as well as to building OnePlanet.
The effects of the climate crisis will be felt differently across the globe in varying severity due to geographical location but also social factors such as race, class and gender. People in poorer countries are more vulnerable to the threats of climate change yet are the least responsible for causing it. Climate change is considered a feminist issue because women make up 70% of the world’s poor, making them experience the impacts of climate change more deeply.
If we are to tackle the climate crisis, we need a collaborative leadership that is diverse and inclusive, where those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change are represented. Campaigns such as SHE Changes Climate are making it their mission to ensure that all climate negotiations have at least a 50% representation of diverse women at the top levels of decisions.
All countries around the world have power, experience and capable women who deserve to use their voices and represent their people.SHE Changes Climate
According to the United Nations, empowering women leads to more effective climate solutions and increased resilience to climate change within communities. Studies have also shown that national parliaments with a higher representation of women tend to have stronger climate policies that have resulted in lower emissions of carbon dioxide.
Meet some of the incredible women that are taking action and fighting for our planet and its people
Jakapita Kandanga is a youth climate activist from Namibia and is part of the global climate strike movement Fridays for Future MAPA. MAPA stands for Most Affected People and Areas and represents areas of the globe that were colonised and historically marginalised. MAPA are the least responsible for the climate crisis yet will suffer most from its consequences. Jakapita travelled to COP26 to stress how climate change is disproportionately affecting nations like Namibia and the need for governments to take action. Jakapita featured in our live panel discussion for our Adapt Now! event, you can watch the highlights here.
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Robin Wall Kimmerer is a scientist, writer and Professor of Environmental Biology at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, New York. She is a citizen of the Potawatomi nation and is the founding Director of the Center for Native Peoples and Environments, whose mission is to draw on both indigenous and scientific knowledge to protect and regenerate the Earth and our relationship to it. Her bestselling book Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants explored these topics further.
Vandana Shiva is a physicist, ecofeminist and social activist from India who has written over 20 books. She founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Natural Resource Policy (RFSTN) which is devoted to developing sustainable methods of agriculture. Vandana is a defender of biodiversity and seed sovereignty, her organisation Navdanya supports Indian farmers to grow indigenous seed varieties and stand up against corporate pressure.
Nemonte Nenquimo is an indigenous activist from the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest and is the first woman to be made president among the Waorani nation. She co-founded the Ceibo Alliance and Amazon Frontlines organisations which work to support the struggles of indigenous peoples as they fight to protect their land. Nemonte has been recognised for her activism when she took the Ecuadorian government to court and succeeded in protecting 500,000 acres of rainforest from oil extraction.
Mikaela Loach is an activist and medical student based in Edinburgh, Scotland, who advocates for environmental justice, racial justice and refugee rights. Mikaela’s most recent campaign Paid to pollute has seen herself and fellow campaigners take the UK Government to High Court in December 2021. Since signing the Paris Agreement, the UK has paid over £4 billion in public spending to North Sea oil and gas companies. The lawsuit is challenging that the UK Government’s support of the fossil fuel industry is not in line with their pledges to reduce carbon emissions.
Women are not only playing a key role in solving climate change – they are also building OnePlanet! We believe that it is important that more women are represented in the world of tech, which we will be discussing in our next blog.