Climate Leaders’ Summit: Women Kicking it on Climate Chair’s Summary


Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, hosted the Climate Leaders’ Summit: Women Kicking it on Climate, on May 16-17, 2018 in Canada’s National Capital Region.  This meeting advanced ambitious action on climate change through women’s leadership ahead of the G7 environment meeting Canada will host later this year.

The Summit brought together women climate leaders from G7 countries and the international community, drawing from the public, private, academic and civil society sectors, including youth and Indigenous Peoples, to advance solutions to combat climate change and the Paris Agreement while contributing to women’s empowerment.

Women’s leadership helped land the Paris Agreement, and is delivering ambitious climate action in communities, businesses, cities, states and provinces, countries, and international bodies around the world today. That leadership will be further strengthened through the implementation of the Paris Agreement’s Gender Action Plan, a framework to increase women’s participation in climate negotiations, which Parties committed to at COP23 in Bonn, Germany.

Climate change puts women at greater risk. In many countries, women are highly dependent on natural resources for their livelihood, given their responsibility for securing water, food and energy for cooking and heating. The effects of climate change, including drought, uncertain rainfall and deforestation, make it harder to secure these resources.

The women climate leaders at the Summit are working to secure a clean and growing economy with good jobs and opportunities for all and a more sustainable planet for our kids and grandkids.

Creating Momentum for Action under the Paris Agreement

Summit participants agreed that Paris Agreement is irreversible and non-negotiable. To continue momentum towards the achievement of the Paris Agreement objectives, summit participants agreed that Parties to the Agreement need to conclude the Paris work programme at COP24 in order to promote ambitious, credible, and transparent climate action by all.

The women climate leaders at the Summit also recognized that 2018 is a critical year for stepping up climate action in other fora. Participants welcomed the efforts of the G7 under Canada’s presidency to advance commitments on climate change, oceans, energy, and the empowerment of women.

Participants also welcomed the leadership of subnational governments, as exemplified by California’s upcoming Global Climate Action Summit, and encouraged governments, businesses and civil society to engage effectively in initiatives such as the Powering Past Coal Alliance launched by Canada and the U.K., the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the Global Methane Initiative, and the Troika+.

Turning billions into trillions

Women leaders have the power to help turn billions into the trillions needed to finance the transition to a just, low-carbon world.

Summit participants also highlighted that pricing pollution is a flexible and cost-effective policy that shifts investment to cleaner choices. They also commended the efforts of the private sector to push for stronger disclosure of climate-related risks and to grow investment in clean energy and in climate solutions.

Participants will continue to work to support the efforts of businesses, cities, states, multilateral institutions, civil society and philanthropists to promote investment and innovation in reducing emissions and making a just transition to a cleaner economy that works for all.

Building Women’s Climate Leadership

To support women’s leadership in climate action and clean growth, participants will:

  • Advocate for the equal representation of women in decision-making and negotiator roles, and encourage each other to continue to lead on climate action;
  • Promote women’s leadership in businesses and women entrepreneurs, recognizing that equal participation of all genders can increase innovation and drive clean economic growth for all;
  • Adopt solutions to address climate change that recognize the often disproportionate impacts of climate change on women and other vulnerable communities, particularly Indigenous women, and work to give women equal opportunities to implement solutions for climate change;
  • Support and collaborate with grassroots and Indigenous women whose traditional knowledge make them  experts in climate change resilience and leaders in conservation;
  • Foster engagement with young women taking action on climate change and support their innovative thinking; and
  • Build on the growing global recognition that effective climate action requires the active participation of women, including through the UNFCCC Gender Action Plan.

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