400 Climate Leaders to COP26: Add More Women to the Leadership Team

Ellie Goulding, Emma Watson, Lily Cole Join Hundreds Demanding Women Representation at COP26.

400 Climate Leaders to COP26: Add More Women to the Leadership Team
Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

COP26, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, doesn’t have enough women at the helm. That’s according to more than 400 signatories including celebrities, Ellie Goulding, Emma Watson, and Lily Cole. They join leading scientists, politicians, economists, environmentalists, and Nobel Prize Laureates. All are under-signers of a new campaign, SheChangesClimate.

The group sent an open letter to the UK government today, calling for greater accountability and transparency on gender equality at COP26. The campaign is asking for a 50 percent representation of women in the UK’s COP26 top leadership team.

“It is incomprehensible that half the planet is not represented in the senior leadership team,” the letter reads.

Not strengthening female voices in the conversation is a “step backwards for climate justice and a failure of responsibility to put together the strongest team,” the group says.

Last year’s COP25 included a Gender Action Plan that underscored the importance of including women in the climate conversation.

The group says it had meetings with Peter Hill, CEO of COP26 and Alok Sharma, its President.

“The perspectives of those who are most likely to bear the brunt of climate change, and have demonstrated resourcefulness and resilience, must have their views included in the framing and narrative of this COP26 agenda,” the group noted. According to the UN, with fewer resources and rights, about 80 percent of those displaced by climate change are women.

SheChangesClimate says Sharma promised to continue the dialogue and proactively collaborate on ways to resolve the lack of representation.

Paris Agreement co-author Laurence Tubiana signed the letter. Other signatories include former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, economist Kate Raworth, and National Geographic Explorer Sylvia Earle.

COP26 happens in Glasgow next November.

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