Women are the first victims of global warming. They are also often the first to take action to protect the environment. That is why the women mayors gathered at the Mexico City Summit signed the “Women4Climate” manifesto, which aims to support all women in the world working on local climate policies. Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, has just taken the lead of the C40-Cities for three years. She has signed this manifesto, which you can discover below, along with ten other women mayors. You can join #morewomen on social networks.
“A fact almost universally ignored but key to remember is that women leaders initiated the Paris Agreement adopted at COP21.
And this deserves to be widely known, because women throughout the world are at the forefront of the fight against climate change, and driving forward and accelerating the transition to a low carbon future.
The Paris Agreement on climate change is the single greatest diplomatic achievement of modern times. Signed by 190 countries, it has been ratified within less than a year by more than 80 parties, representing over 60% of global emissions.
While men like Ban-Ki Moon, Michael R. Bloomberg and Laurent Fabius were key, this global breakthrough has been concretely delivered by women. Throughout 2014 and 2015, an exceptional group of women headed by Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the French Minister of Environment Ségolène Royal and Ambassador of France for Climate Change Negotiations Laurence Tubiana, have been the true architects of the Paris Agreement.
And at the height of COP21 negotiations, many of us, female mayors, answered the call from Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, to act together against climate change, pushing nations to reach an ambitious agreement.
In November 2016, nations met once again in Marrakesh, one year on from COP21. Two remarkable women encouraged nation states to do more: the new UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, and Hakima El Haite, the Moroccan Delegate Minister in charge of the Environment.
Yet, there remains a stark disconnect between this powerful leadership and the reality of life for millions of women around the world, who are on the front line of global warming. The United Nations Population Fund concluded that women are more vulnerable than men to climate change, particularly if they live in low and middle-income countries. Women for example, are much more likely than men to die in climate-related natural disasters such as floods or heat waves, because they manage households and care for family members, limiting their ability to leave in the face of such crises.
We must fight this injustice together. As women are more impacted by climate-related natural disasters, they can also become key actors in preventing and adapting to climate change. We call on Heads of States to acknowledge this, and to systematically involve women in creating the policies that will deliver a low carbon world.
Through the C40 Cities Women4Climate initiative, we will invite prominent global women leaders to support other women working on local climate projects, through mentoring, and championing their achievements. This program directed, at both women from city governments and civil society organizations, will build the capacities of future leaders in cities.
Helping new generations of women to rise in the fight against climate change will make our cities stronger, more resilient and more equal.”
Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris
Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney
Manuela Carmena, Mayor of Madrid
Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona
Karin Wanngård, Mayor of Stockhom
Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, Mayor of Warsaw
Muriel Bowser, Mayor of Washington D.C.
Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo
Fumiko Hayashi, Mayor of Yokohama
Patricia de Lille, Mayor of Cape Town
Zandile Gumede, Mayor of Durban
Women4Climate on ELLE France website: http://www.elle.fr/Societe/News/Women4Climate-unies-contre-le-rechauffement-climatique-3393314
Women4Climate on ELLE South Africa website: http://www.elle.co.za/female-mayors-taking-climate-change-women4climate/