Despite ongoing scientific research that claims humans are at least partly to blame for the accelerated climate change we’ve seen over the past few years, there still isn’t any consensus about either the cause or the proper way to deal with it.
Regardless of what politicians and diplomats might think about climate change, its consequences are a reality for those around the world already dealing with the effects of a fluctuating planet- and some more profoundly than others.
An Australian news source recently looked at research conducted by the United Nations, the Women’s Environment and Development Organization and the University of London. The research showed that natural disasters, drought, famine and poverty all have a profound effect on women. Because these situations are also all influenced by climate change, a warmer world may exacerbate global gender inequalities (Inhabitat).
This is an unfortunate conclusion, especially since women are suspiciously absent from the international group commissioned by the UN to investigate potential sources of revenue to support developing countries in their efforts to cope with the impacts of climate change and the shift to low-carbon development pathways.
According to Grist.org, “U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced an important new climate change financing group last week, but out of the 19 people named, no women were included.”
Given the fact that the group will be tasked with collecting around $30 billion by 2012, and deciding how a large portion of that, and the $100 billion dollar goal for 2020, will be spent, it seems odd to exclude even one female representative, and reflects what many feel is a persistent bias in climate change decision-making roles.
It is hard to hope that this is merely an oversight, especially since last September the U.N. Secretary’s acknowledged that is was essential “to foster an environment where women are key decision makers on climate change, and play an equally central role in carrying out these decisions…We must do more to give greater say to women in addressing the climate challenge.”
Although the group is comprised of some of the brightest intellectual and political minds in the world, it’s preposterous to accept that no worthy female resprentatives could be found. Critics of this “U.N. men’s club” are hopeful that the secretary-general and the co-chairs of the advisory group “can correct this by expanding the membership of the group to include meaningful representation of female officials before the group’s first meeting in London at the end of the month.”
UPDATE! Take Action on Care2:
Population Action International is calling on the Secretary General to include women in critical climate change appointments. Read their article The U.N. Men’s Club and take action.
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