Women’s Leadership is Central to the Climate Fight

A lot has been researched and written about the role of women in leading the fight for climate solutions around the world. Most recently and poignantly, Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Dr. Katharine K. Wilkinson brought attention to this question beautifully through their anthology All We Can Save, a compilation of writings by women in climate. 

While women bear disproportionate burdens when it comes to climate impacts, they play a critical role in crafting the solutions. A study on gender equality and state-level environmentalism found that, across 130 countries, women in government positions were more likely to sign on to international treaties to reduce global warming than men. Women are also consistently much more likely to care about climate, and to take action on solutions. 

For International Women’s Month, we want to make some space to listen to the women climate leaders from whom we have learnt so much. 

Adrienne Bloch and Kim Smaczniak, Lawyers at EarthJustice

“I see the law as a tool for communities and for people to create change in society.”

“That’s the positive story. With the power of law, with hard work, dedication, and huge partnerships and movements, you can win.”

Lauren Kurtz, Executive Director of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund

“Being able to point to the pandemic is a very visceral experience that we’re all undergoing. It’s really unfortunate that we’re here, but it could also be a learning experience for us to hopefully stave off having to go through another broad scale disruption as a result of climate change.”

Disasterologist Dr. Samantha Montano

There are already communities across the country and around the world that, as we speak, are experiencing the consequences of climate change. We need to address their needs now as well, and I think that’s where emergency management has a real responsibility here.”

Mayra Cruz, Climate Resilience Program Manager for Catalyst Miami

“By working on the ground, I have a good sense of what solutions community members are really advocating for and being able to uplift that personally through the work, or even better having community members speak for themselves about what they see as places for improvement.”

Dr. Genevieve Guenther, Founder of End Climate Silence

“The outrage that I feel towards these people who are so wantonly destroying the possibility of life on our miraculous planet actually keeps me working hard and keeps me going.”

Reverend Mariama White-Hammond

“There are a lot of things about the world that if you ask people they would say yea, it’s too bad, but that’s just the way it is, if we have to rethink the way it is, that opens up the possibility to do so at a very deep level.”

Dr. Atyia Martin, Founder and CEO of All Aces

“We have a tendency to want to make things less emotional, less personal. But these are emotional issues, and they are personal. And to try to take out the emotionality is to dehumanize those people who are on the receiving end of the burdens of both racism and climate change.”

Featured Image: Photo Illustration by Amanda Griffiths, Climate XChange. Photos courtesy of  interviewees.