"No politician can win an election without involvement of 50% of the population": Powerful women leaders to converge for Climate Week NYC

Clare Saxon Ghauri
16 September 2013

NEW YORK: This Friday a unique and powerful group of leaders will gather for the International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit (IWEC) as part of Climate Week NYC, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this year.

Taking place from September 20-23, the IWEC Summit will focus on the critical role women play in building global climate solutions. During the Summit, powerful leaders from around the world will draft a Women's Climate Action Agenda document to unify policy demands to turn these solutions into action.

On the eve of Climate Week NYC and the United Nations General Assembly session, and as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change prepares to release its much anticipated Assessment Report, the Summit has attracted a compelling mix of business leaders, former heads of state, scientists, government officials, activists, teachers, community organizers and culture shapers. 

Osprey Orielle Lake, co-founder of the International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit, told us: “The Delegates are leaders of a growing movement of women already implementing climate solutions that work. Women know what changes are needed to foster sustainability in our communities, and women are uniquely positioned to face the ecological challenges of our time. Women around the world are facing the impacts of a changing climate every day, and we are coming together to say 'enough is enough' and it is time for action that addresses the roots of this crisis and fosters just solutions."

She added: "This in the inaugural Summit–it will be the first time that this group of leaders have all come together to work on solutions. Many signs point to the urgency of this time, and we come together now as women to build an agenda for action knowing that the safety of future generations are at stake if we don’t act now. Earlier this year we crossed a critical threshold of 400 ppm of carbon in the earth’s atmosphere, and we know that we need to be below 350 ppm to have a liveable planet for our future generations. We will work together at the Summit and in the coming years to take definitive steps to address these crises with the time, funds, policy and dedication these challenges call for, and we ask you to join us in this critical work.”

IWEC invites participants from around the world to follow the exclusive high-level event through its YouTube live stream, and join the discussion using hashtag #IWECI on Twitter

The full list of speakers includes H.E. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General, Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD), Dr. Sylvia Earle, Marine Biologist, Explorer-in-Residence, National Geographic, Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, UNFCC, Dr. Jane Goodall, UN Messenger of Peace; Founder, The Jane Goodall Institute, Angelina Galiteva, Founding Board Chair, Renewables 100 Policy Institute, Hon. Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, European Commission, Rachel Kyte, Vice President for Sustainable Development, The World Bank, Hon. Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland, Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate / Chair, Nobel Women's Initiative, among many more astonishing and influential leaders.

One of these inspiring speakers, Thilmeeza Hussain, Member of Climate Wise Women, Founder of Voice of Women Maldives, said: "This Summit couldn't have happened at a better time than now, due to the urgent action required to move forward; not only the UNFCCC negotiations happening but as well as to get the civil society involved. This will bring the world environmental advocates together at one platform to move this agenda forward. […] No politician can win an election without the involvement of the 50% of the population." 

IWEC Summit co-founder Sally Ranney, added: “Actions to date are simply not equivalent to the escalating urgency of the climate crisis. We are headed toward a 4 degrees C (7.2 degrees F) rise in global temperature over the next decades that will create unprecedented havoc for our children, grandchildren and future generations. Women are no longer willing to stand by when so much is at stake."

Find out more about the International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit

See the full list of events happening during Climate Week NYC

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By Clare Saxon

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