More on women and climate change

Last month, the UN Secretary-General announced a new climate change financing group. Its purpose is to identify short- and long-term financial resources to aid developing countries in dealing with climate change, and is a result of the recent Copenhagen climate talks.

The article on the UN’s site quotes the Secretary-General as saying that, in the group, “There will be an even balance between developing and developed countries,” which is great, but as Elizabeth Becker and Suzanne Ehlers ask at Grist,  “Why are women being left out of climate decision-making?

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced an important new climate change financing group last week, but out of the 19 people named, no women were included. . .

Leaving women out is unfortunate and reflects a persistent bias in climate change decision-making roles. It is also unwise given the ultimate objective of the advisory group. This elite club will frame and shape climate change financial flows to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. We know that women are disproportionately represented among both of these groups and are often on the front lines of climate change.   In developing countries, because of their role as primary providers of food, water, and fuel for their families, women are both the most affected by climate change and a pivotal force for building responses to direct climate impacts.   We also know that women are frequently the decision-makers about household consumption, and represent an increasing share of wealth around the world.

By leaving their voices out of the critical tasks before this advisory group, the secretary-general is closing out opportunities to explore the widest possible range of creative and innovative sources of revenue on the scale that is needed to address climate change.

The secretary-general himself has noted the need to include women in all aspects of decision-making on climate change.

Emphasis mine. That’s really quite remarkable. By which I mean appalling.

One of the commenters links to the Women’s Environment & Development Organization, which is collecting signatures on a letter to send to the Secretary-General asking him to appoint some women to the group. They have a list of names of women who are qualified to serve, as an example that there are plenty of good candidates who are women.

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