Want Climate Solutions to Work? Include WomenMarch 07 2022
In honor of Women’s History Month, here’s a closer look at the interplay between gender and climate change.
We need all hands-on deck in the fight against climate change. From beach clean-ups to sustainable chocolate companies, legislative action to regenerative farming, we can’t afford to overlook anything that helps restore our planet. Yet, gender inequities—such as access to health care, economic opportunity and political power---leave women out of the equation when it comes to climate solutions. That just won’t do. We need women’s full inclusion in the decision-making and implementation of climate initiatives.
From Exclusion to Opportunity
Not only do gender inequities leave women out of climate solutions, they exacerbate women’s vulnerability to climate change across the globe. Despite that vulnerability, women possess enormous power to produce effective climate solutions. Global leaders recognize the unique contributions women can bring to the table. When women are brought into the process, sustainability initiatives are more successful. This is true whether women are in the boardroom, working on family farms, or responding to climate emergencies.
Global Leaders Call for Women’s Inclusion
The UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UFCCC) states that, “Everyone should acknowledge the benefits that women bring to climate action so climate change can be properly addressed.” The UN further reports that when women in developing countries are given equal resources, their agricultural harvests outpace men by 20-30%. Some reports state that the more women are represented in a country’s government, the more likely it is that that country will sign on to global climate agreements.
Women Are Ready
In Ecuador, where most of our chocolate is grown, women are already practicing regenerative farming that protects biodiversity and soil health. As managers of their homes, they already are intimately aware of their community’s water quality and fuel needs.
In developed countries, women make most of the buying decisions within a family. Women embrace eco-friendly spending habits more than men. They buy organic more often, recycle more, and litter less. From California to Ecuador, women are meeting the challenges of climate change with creativity, vision, and heart.
Meet two women doing big things for the planet:
Carolyn Pace started her company Wompost in 2018. Wompost offers curbside compost pick-up and drop off services. Since that time, she and her customers have diverted over 650,000 pounds of compostable materials from landfills and avoided 292 tons of GHG emissions. Wompost has delivered nearly 300,000 pounds of composted soil.
Wompost accepts all the usual compostable materials, plus non-recyclable paper items like shredded paper, greasy pizza boxes, and waxed cardboard. Alter-Eco’s chocolate truffles are wrapped in compostable wrappers so they can be composted by facilities just like Wompost or in your own backyard.
Elizabeth Wathuti founded the Green Generation Initiative, whose mission is to develop social and environmental responsibility in young people. The GGI has worked with over 40 schools in seven countries, impacting more than 20,000. Their programs focus on education, planting trees, and creating food forests on school compounds.