Initiative to inspire women for climate conversations launched

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As India takes giant strides to build green growth reiterating commitments on cleaner energy sources and net zero carbon emissions by 2070, Women Climate Collective (WCC), a community that seeks to increase representation of women’s voices and perspectives in climate, was launched.

Supported by 10 diverse organizations and with 16 climate champions, the initiative aims to inspire women to use their voice and participate in climate conversations, empowering them to be part of the solution to ensure more equitable outcomes.

Sectors that WCC’s 16 climate champions are drawn from include grassroots climate storytelling, clean air solutions, sustainable architecture, marine conservation, waste management, climate governance and agriculture.

While the impact of climate change is well-recognized, seldom is the impact of climate change on women talked about. Women are disproportionately at risk, and creating awareness of gendered impacts as well as the solutions through the voices of women climate champions will make the Indian climate ecosystem more representative and responsive, especially to the most vulnerable.

According to UN reports, women commonly face higher risks and greater burdens from the impact of climate change, and yet are under-represented in conversations around solutions.

Solutions to address climate change must include women, including in the initial stages. Women need to be part of defining the problem and impact. Women Climate Collective believes that when women have the voice they deserve, they have the capacity to create a more sustainable and more inclusive world.

WCC believes that amplifying inspiring stories of women responding to the climate crisis in India, and pairing this with an upskilled supportive community of women interested in gender and climate, can provide the much needed fillip to women-inclusive climate action.

The virtual launch of WCC on Thursday saw participation from corporate and impact organizations, influencers and individual climate champions who have led by example. The initiative includes an online community on Facebook for women from across India to share voices and upskill themselves as stronger proponents of climate change actions (facebook.com/womenclimatecollective).

The initiative is supported by Fondation L’Oreal, Purpose Climate Lab, Yuvaa, MASH, C40, Youth Ki Awaaz, Red Dot Foundation, Chintan, Sustera, Climate Collective — and soon others.

Commenting on the Collective, Alexandra Palt, CEO of the Fondation L’Oreal, said: “Climate change is disrupting our lives, our societies and economies, with women once again on the frontline. The fight against climate change must increasingly take women into account. When gender equality is higher, when women have the voice they deserve, they have the capacity to create a more sustainable, more inclusive and better society. That is why we consider it strategic to empower women’s voices and women-led climate action in India.”

Shruti Narayan, C40 Cities’ Regional Director for South and West Asia, said: “Enhancing women’s participation and leadership in cities to accelerate climate action is critical to securing an equitable and inclusive future for all. The ongoing C40 Women4Climate programs in Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai match committed women leaders from diverse sectors with mentees to explore innovative and inclusive climate projects with the potential to contribute to cities climate action plans, bringing women to the forefront of discussions on climate action.”

In coming months the Women Climate Collective will pursue three tracks of work: One, 16 women climate champions will build their capacity to tell their stories in an impactful and resonant way. Two, online community of hundreds of women who care about a more inclusive climate movement in India will network and learn from each other and experts.

Three, 16 inspiring women champions will raise awareness on the dimension of gender within climate.

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