Women are the main victims of polluted cities and unsustainable development and are therefore leading the way in actions to help them live a better life on a healthy planet. Anne Hidalgo, Paris Mayor and Chief of C40 – the Cities Climate Leadership Group, introduced the Women4Climate initiative in Marrakech at a press briefing during COP22. On hand to speak on the distinguished panel of women leaders were Patricia Espinosa, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change; Laurence Tubiana, the French Ambassador to international climate negotiations; Celeste Ketcha-Courtes, Mayor of Bangangte, Cameroon; as well as representative Hakima El Haite, COP22 Special Envoy and Climate Champion of Morocco
The Paris Agreement was largely brought about by the tireless efforts of women like Laurence Tubiana, which is why Hidalgo said, “women will be essential in making it a reality in our cities.”
“Study after study has shown that women are the most vulnerable [to climate change] and that’s why there is a need for strong leadership on this issue…like these excellent role models,” said Espinosa.
El Haite spoke about how “Women are the first victims of climate change but are also outstanding actors of change.” She said we “cannot ignore 50% of the world, if you want to develop the whole world.” El Haite has been advocating Morocco’s support of women in climate leadership and climate action, even presenting in Washington, DC earlier this year with Hidalgo.
Ketcha-Courtes is now the head of the Local Elected Women in Africa network, which was founded in Tangier, and said, “African women are the natural managers of everything. We are ready, we are in the action!” of making the Paris Agreement goals a reality.
The initiative will be officially launched in December at the C40 summit in Mexico City.