The world has been facing a climate crisis for a long time now. It is perhaps one of the most important issues that we are encountering at the moment and it is getting worse as the years progress. The earth did have a break at the beginning of the COVID-19 Lockdown. We all saw how nature thrived when people across the globe were under quarantine but as the year went on, the climate is back to where it was before the pandemic. In fact, it is worse than ever before. The pandemic also had a negative impact on different aspects - social, economic, and political - of people's lives; women in particular and those coming from marginalized communities proved to be the most vulnerable groups.
However, with everything else that we manage to overcome, women are stepping up and leading the fight against global warming. It is safe to say that women can be found among the decision-makers of climate action. These women are at the forefront of the battle and have set an inspiring example for the rest of the citizens of the globe.
Let us take a look at who some of these women are and what have been their initiatives.
1. Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand became known for its effective response and strategies to control the spread of COVID-19. Adding another golden feather was Jacinda Ardern's (the PM of the country) climate change motion as soon as she won the elections in October 2020. The motion acknowledged the Paris Agreement, an agreement with the UNFCC on climate change, and the Zero Carbon Act passed in New Zealand in 2019, and Jacinda Ardern pledged to turn New Zealand into a carbon-neutral country by 2025.
2. Autumn Peltier
Autumn Peltier is a 16-year old Canadian advocate for clean water across the globe, particularly First Nation communities, a group of Indigenous people in Canada. She has been advocating for the cause since she was eight years old and since then, she has spoken in several conferences around the world including the United Nations World Water Day on March 22, 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden for World Water Week in August 2018. She has also been recognized as a water protector for First Nations by the UN General Assembly and as an Ontario Junior Citizen for her advocacy.
3. Alyssa Auberger
Alyssa Auberger is the Chief Sustainability Officer at Baker Mckenzie, one of the largest law firms in the world and one of the first to join the United Nations Global Compact. Alyssa previously held the position of Global Chair of its Consumer Goods & Retail Industry Group at the firm. As a CSO, she will now be responsible for assisting in the Firm’s global Sustainability strategy.
4. Hanli Prinsloo
Hanli Prinsloo is a South African freediver, a water conservationist, and the founder of ‘I Am Water’, a trust dedicated to conserving ocean and water bodies through human experience. Her contributions towards ocean conservation through advocacy, raising awareness, and many water-sports workshops have earned her recognition among the World Economic Forum's Young Leaders in 2014. The South African record-breaking freediver, writer, and speaker continue to educate and connect young people with the underwater world.
5. Dia Mirza
An award-winning actress, filmmaker and a model, Dia Mirza is known for her contribution as an activist for social change and conservation of the environment. She is also a UN SDG advocate and has been a strong voice as well as the face of a number of wildlife conservation campaigns across India. Dia Mirza works with the UN to spread awareness regarding clean air, clean water bodies and climate change.
6. Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg is a name that has become synonymous with climate action since the young activist took the world by storm in 2018. The Swedish activist is internationally recognized for challenging world leaders and criticizing them for failing to address the growing concerns of climate. Her climate strike, which first caught international attention, has now become a movement called ‘Fridays for Future’ across the world. Greta has won a number of awards and recognitions, including being the youngest ‘Time Person of the Year’ and was listed in Forbes’ ‘The World's 100 Most Powerful Women’ (2019), and has inspired thousands around the world to begin change at their home and communities.
7. Luisa-Marie Neubauer
Luisa-Marie Neubauer is a climate activist from Germany and a prominent organizer of the Fridays for Future movement in her homeland. She made headlines when she met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, along with Anuna de Wever and Adélaïde Charlier, both from Belgium, and Greta Thunberg to discuss climate protection measures in 2020. Neubauer is involved with a number of organizations working towards climate change, intergenerational justice and global poverty.
8. Isra Hisri
Isra Hisri is an American environmental activist and the co-founder of U.S. Youth Climate Strike. A prominent advocate of self-care and sustainability, the teen has been listed in ‘Fortune 40 under 40: Government and Politics’ and BET's ‘Future 40’. Hisri is also known for leading hundreds of student-led climate strikes across USA.
9. Elizabeth Wathuti
Elizabeth Wathuti is an environment activist and blogger. The 25 year-old is the founder of Green Generation Initiative (GGI) which encourages young people to love and be conscious of the environment at an early age. The initiative has successfully planted 30,000 tree seedlings in Kenya, the activist's homeland, where she first planted a tree at the age of seven and has since led activities such as tree planting and raising awareness about the environment and climate change in her community. Her contribution has been recognized by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their Instagram and Elizabeth has been the recipient of a number of awards and accolades in her field.
10. Vanessa Nakate
Vanessa Nakate, the climate justice activist is from Uganda, where concerned about the unusually high temperature for the first time in 2018, Vanessa began advocating for climate crisis in 2019 and staged a solitary strike outside the Parliament of Uganda. She has been very outspoken on a number of other issues as well including racism, poverty, conflict and violence against women and girls, often using social media as a platform for her voice.