If you were asked what would be the number one solution to tackle climate change, what would your answer be?
It’s possible most people would respond with strictly “environmental” solutions, like the slashing of emissions through greater use of renewables, reducing food and water waste, the shift to electric transportation, and so forth.
The answer, of course lies within the theme of this article, so no prizes for guessing!
The facts however are nothing short of revelatory. Not only will they surprise you, but they also explain why this critical area is once again being thrust into the global spotlight at this year’s G7 Summit.
In a recent statement Canadian Prime Minister and G7 Summit President, Justin Trudeau said – “Advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment will be a part of every ministerial meeting, it will be part of the broader G7 agenda, and it will be considered every step of the way as we plan out all of our events,”
Recent research has found that women and girls are in fact the number one solution to climate change, in terms of potential impact. A combination of educating girls and family planning, together could reduce 120 gigatons of CO2-equivalent by 2050. Putting that into perspective, that’s more than on- and offshore wind power combined (99 GT)!
One key area that illustrates this powerfully is the gender gap that exists in agriculture. We now know that when the status of women improves, agricultural productivity increases, poverty is reduced, and nutrition improves. Closing this gender gap can significantly improve the lives of women, their families and communities, while addressing global warming.
Here’s a useful video from UNDP that explains how successful action on Climate Change depends on engaging women as stakeholders and planners to ensure that both women and men have opportunities in the new green economy.
In summary, it is important to remember, that women are not only vulnerable to climate change but they are also effective actors or agents of change in relation to both mitigation and adaptation. Women often have a strong body of knowledge and expertise that can be used in climate change mitigation, disaster reduction and adaptation strategies.
If we’re serious about tackling the most serious challenges facing humanity — including carbon levels and gender equity — we’ll need to pool resources and networks as much as we can.
* Since 2008, CCTNE – ‘Climate Change the New Economy’ has promoted independent and informed discussion on issues related to climate change and sustainable development, through high quality publications aimed at political business leaders and opinion formers. CCTNE is the only publication focussed on this crucial subject matter present at the G7 Summits. Our purpose & value are two-fold: 1) to deliver effective thought-leadership through our proven advocacy platform 2) ensure as wide a reach as possible via our unique, extensive global distribution ‘hard-copy’ network & associated on-line platforms.