Meet nine women leading on climate action
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the scale of the climate crisis. But as you read this, hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life are taking all kinds of actions to cut emissions, fight injustices and defend the rights of people and nature.
Ahead of International Women’s Day on 8th March, we’re spotlighting nine influential women climate leaders. Representing a diverse range of geographies, expertise and backgrounds, each one of these women is bringing about positive change and developing solutions.
At community level, in national debates and in international summits, they are united in their understanding that we can’t address climate change without also addressing other forms of inequality and oppression.
All of these women leaders are available for media requests and can be contacted via [email protected]
The Livism Team
GENDER-JUSTICE | CLIMATE POLICY
Bridget Burns is a feminist, environmental activist, and the Director of the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) — a global advocacy organisation working at the intersections of gender, equality and environmental justice. For more than a decade, Bridget has focused on integrating gender equality into climate change policy and decision-making at global and national levels.
INDIGENOUS LEADERSHIP IN ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE
Valérie Courtois is a leading expert on Indigenous-led conservation across Canada. She is a member of the Innu community of Mashteutiatsh, located on the shore of Peikuakamit in the heart of what is now known as Québec. As executive director of the Indigenous Leadership Initiative, she works to support Indigenous communities in their crucial role protecting lands and water.
RENEWABLE ENERGY IN AFRICA
Wangari Muchiri is a renewable energy expert with years of experience in wind power, clean cooking and energy access for off-grid communities. As Director of Africa WindPower, she works with governments and businesses to scale up and speed up the deployment of wind power across the African continent.
CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY | GREENWASHING | WHISTLEBLOWING PRACTICES
Desiree Fixler is an advocate for change in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing and sustainability. While working at asset manager DWS Group, she blew the whistle on what she considered to be extensive greenwashing by the firm. She continues to call for greater transparency and accountability in ESG investing.
PROTECTION OF THE AMAZON AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
Helena Gualinga is an environmental and human rights activist from the Indigenous Kichwa Sarayaku community in Pastaza, Ecuador. She is one of the youngest spokespeople for her community, exposing the conflict of oil and mining companies in the Amazon and championing Indigenous leadership in conserving biodiversity.
AIR POLLUTION | ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
Bhavreen Kandhari is a mother and climate campaigner who has been pushing for clean air in India and beyond for over two decades. After being concerned about the impact of air pollution in Delhi on her twin daughters, she co-founded Warrior Moms, uniting mothers across India to call for clean air for the sake of their children’s health.
GENDER AND CLIMATE CHANGE | GAS IN AFRICA
Ina-Maria Shikongo is a Namibian environmental activist, artist and mother of three. As part of Fridays For Future, she is a frontline activist in the struggle against oil and gas exploration in the Kavango Basin, which threatens critically endangered species and the homes and livelihoods of local residents.
Dr Heather McMullen
CLIMATE JUSTICE | REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE
Dr Heather McMullen is a social scientist working on the connections between sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) and climate justice. As part of a global coalition of feminist and climate groups, she advocates for policies, programmes, and funding mechanisms that help advance gender equality, human rights and climate justice.
Osprey Orielle Lake
WOMEN-LED CLIMATE SOLUTIONS
Osprey Orielle Lake is the founder and executive director of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), an organisation established to engage women for global climate justice. She works nationally and internationally with grassroots and frontline women leaders, policymakers and diverse coalitions to build women’s leadership, climate justice, resilient communities and a just transition to a decentralised, democratised clean energy future.
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Ayisha Siddiqa speaks to Time’s women of the year – “And my work is in defense of life. By default, its defense of the rights of women. Therefore, it’s also by default human rights.”
Blocking the doors to Norway’s energy ministry – Greta Thunberg and hundreds of other activists protested against wind farms that violate the Sami people’s Indigenous rights according to the supreme court.
Naomi Klein, Canadian author and professor of climate justice – speaks in this interview about her awakening around climate change, climate action and the future of climate justice.
What we’re listening to
Considering the constant stream of alarming climate news, it’s simple to get paralysed by despair. Listen to these six insightful podcasts and you’ll get more knowledgeable and possibly more willing to embrace climate optimism.
What we’re attending
This roundtable will discuss a variety of topics, including diversity-washing, the reasons why women and girls are most affected by global warming, the need for more women to hold positions of authority in business and government institutions, and much more.
When? Wed, 8 March, 2023, 13:00 – 14:30 GMT
Legal instruments with the potential to catalyse the sustainable transition are gaining momentum on a worldwide scale. In this conversation, experts will weigh the value of this strategy for addressing the climate issue, going into depth about the Vanuatu case.
When? Fri, 10 March, 2023, 10:30 – 11:30 GMT
What we’re reading
In this book, the author demonstrates how African American women make distinctive contributions to the environmental justice movement in the ways that they theologise, theorise and engage in spiritual activism.