Cities across the globe are growing fast. Today many cities are simply unsustainable, with polluted air, excessive energy consumption and an absence of nature. But big cities don't have to mean a dystopian future. They can be turned around to be powerhouses of wellbeing and environmental sustainability – if we empower women. C40 Cities – a global network of the largest and greenest cities across the planet – is leading the world delivering practical environmental changes right now. The mayors and city leaders of C40 are committed to make cities good for people and the planet. To help realise this, they have launched Women4Climate, an initiative to promote and support women as climate leaders.
Why Women Will Save the Planet is a unique collaboration between C40 and Friends of the Earth showcasing pioneering city mayors, key voices in the environmental and feminist movements, and academics. The articles and interviews collectively demonstrate both the need for women's empowerment for climate action and the powerful change it can bring. Think of it as a rallying call – for the planet, for women, for everyone.
Foreword by Anne Hidalgo
Introduction by Nicola Baird
1. The Power of Stubborn Optimism - Christiana Figueres
2. Empowering Women to Power up the Paris Agreement on Climate Change - Patricia Espinosa
3. The Hissing of Summer Lawns: Cities, Gender, and Climate Change - Susan Buckingham
4. What's Happening in Durban: From `Tree-Preneurs' to Trendsetters - Zandile Gumede
5. Women's Empowerment and Environmental Sustainability in the Context of International UN agreements - Diane Elson
6. Walking the Talk: Empowering Tomorrow's Women Leaders - Alexandra Palt
7. How Holistic Thinking Benefits People and Planet - Lola Young
8. How Gender-Sensitive are National Adaptation Programmes of Action? Selected Findings from a Desk Review of Thirty-One Sub-Saharan African Countries - Nathalie Holvoet and Liesbeth Inberg
9. Why Educating Girls is Essential for a Sustainable Future - Atti Worku
10. Women, Conflict and the Environment in Somali Society - Shukri Haji Ismail Bandare and Fatima Jibrell
11. The Close Ties between Social and Environmental Justice - Karin Nansen
12. Engendering Urban Climate Policy - Gotelind Alber
13. Why do Gender Equality and Sustainability Go Hand in Hand? - Lyla Mehta and Melissa Leach
14. The Benefits of using a Gender Lens - Naoko Ishii
15. Is there a Specific Role for Women in Helping to Achieve Environmental Sustainability through Politics? - Caroline Lucas
16. Empowering a Balanced and Useful Economics of Sustainability: The Role of Gender - Julie A. Nelson
17. Hand in Hand: Women's Empowerment and Sustainability - Vandana Shiva
18. How the Defence of the Commons and Territories has become a Core Part of Feminist, Anti-Capitalist Struggles - Celia Alldridge
19. Mother Earth - Maria Mies
20. From Icebergs to Climate Refugees - Jude Kelly
21. From Individual to Communal Rights: Empowering Women for Sustainable Use of Natural Resources - Nidhi Tandon
22. The Role of Fashion in Bringing About Social and Ecological Change - Anna Fitzpatrick
23. Family Planning: A Win-Win for Women and Sustainability - Carina Hirsch
24. The Power of Grassroots Action for Women's Empowerment and the Environment - Kate Metcalf and colleagues
25. One Hundred Years of Collective Action for Environmental Change - Marylyn Haines Evans
26. The Impact of Gender Balance in the Renewable Energy Sector - Juliet Davenport
27. More Women in Business for a Sustainable Economy - Emma Howard Boyd
For more than forty years, Friends of the Earth has seen that the well-being of people and planet go hand in hand. Together with thousands of people they have secured safer food and water, defended wildlife and natural habitats, championed the move to clean energy and acted to keep our climate stable.
C40 Cities connects more than ninety of the world's greatest cities, representing over 650 million people. C40 is focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing the health, wellbeing and economic opportunities of urban citizens.
"An inspiring call to action"
– Liz Hutchins, Campaigns Director, Friends of the Earth
"As we look to address the greatest challenge humankind has ever faced, we do so with one of the greatest possible resources: womankind [...] Empowering the next generation of women leaders is a concrete step towards securing a bright, sustainable future for all. Through this book, we are seeking to share the wisdom of a pioneering generation of women leaders with the leaders to come."
– Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, from the foreword
"If women are given equal opportunities to contribute to the global condition we will be able to create a safer, more just and more prosperous world. Universal wellbeing created by universal participation."
– Christiana Figueres, Architect of the Paris Climate Agreement
"Climate action offers the opportunity to transform social and economic development for the better. We must take this opportunity to elevate women and girls as equals in a stable and sustainable society marked by lasting peace and prosperity. That is how women will save the planet."
– Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
"You can't save the planet without equality [...] We need a new economics informed by the larger picture, an economy that puts women and the Earth at the centre."
– Vandana Shiva
"Hope is a potent catalyst. And while our failure to adequately appreciate and guard against ecological destruction fills me with frustration, my hope is not meek or weak. It is urgent and raging. It's a hope that believes a better world – away from cyclical war, the annihilation of the earth's treasures and the grinding down of the poor – is possible."
– Caroline Lucas MP
Praise for the First Edition:
"A wake-up call for the environmental movement"
– Craig Bennett, CEO of Friends of the Earth
"[...] this book is relevant to a wide audience (arguably everyone): to inform our understanding of discrimination against women, and to provide inspiring insight and encouragement into opportunities for achieving not only gender equality but environmental sustainability too."
– Environment and Urbanization