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Climate crisis

“We cannot win the game with only half the team” – Why women’s leadership matters in climate action

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Recently Mary Robinson traveled to Uganda to spend time with youth activist and friend Vanessa Nakate. The two women spent time in communities learning about how local people are striving to adapt to the challenges of the climate crisis. Both Mary Robinson and Vanessa are passionate about the role women and girls have to play in climate leadership at a local, national, and international level.


Vanessa Nakate founded her own project in Uganda, ‘Vash Green Schools', that focuses on providing schools with solar panels for electricity and clean cooking stoves to reduce deforestation and aid student health. This work includes environmental education in schools.


Mary Robinson and Vanessa Nakate visited a range of climate adaptation and innovation projects in Uganda.


“I'm absolutely convinced that women leaders and women networks need to become far more engaged now in solving the acute problem of the climate crisis through a positive narrative of choice. What if our best world is still ahead of us? What if we were to choose and work for that world linking everything being done on the ground? And much of that work is being done by women - women entrepreneurs, young women, women farmers.” – Mary Robinson


In Kampala, Mary Robinson and Vanessa Nakate also visited a women’s group made up of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The women had received training from local entrepenerial organisation CloudGreen who focus on using green technologies to assist women in setting up their own businesses.


The Elders believe the experiences and perspectives of women and girls, civil society, young people, climate vulnerable countries and Indigenous communities need to be centre-stage. Barriers to participation must be removed both in international decision-making spaces such as COP27, but also in communities and in national climate policy planning and delivery.

Visit The Elders' Beyond Declarations climate hub

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