Being a woman; doubly impacted by the climate injustice

By 2050, there are expected to be 300 million climate refugees worldwide.  When we look at who is disproportionately impacted by climate change, women are the biggest group effected.  This is because they are usually at home when climate crises happen; looking after children and dependent relatives, which make it harder for them to escape.  Women in third world countries typically have less access to critical emergency information.  Therefore, empowering women is a key part of winning the fight against climate change.

 

The book ‘Why Women will Save the Planet’[1], gives advice about empowering societies through empowering the women, therefore, making it easier to tackle climate change.  For example, in Bangladesh, women are working to strengthen the land to reduce the effects of flooding and cyclones.

 

The difficulty of discussing climate change, is that it can be an abstract subject to talk about.  By finding out more about women; their names, faces and stories, it can humanise the stark reality.  ‘Hands on: Women, Climate, Change’,[2] shows the profiles of five women who are protesting and educating other women and societies about climate change, through education and innovation.  Their website also shows a documentary, detailing their perspectives and experiences.  It’s worth a watch.

 

What can we do?

 

The UK Government need to take ambitious steps in order to meet the 1.5°C goal that they agreed to in the Paris Agreement.  However, they are currently endorsing the Heathrow expansion and fracking.  Richer countries also need to pay their climate debts.  They can do this by supporting other countries’ resilience and infrastructure, therefore stopping the people that climate change would affect the most.  The Western world needs to stop supporting the big businesses that contribute the most pollution and waste.

 

As a woman living in a Western society, it is important to take individual steps against climate change, and also aim to help other women across the world.  Make sure that whenever you’re campaigning, you have the voices of those who are affected the most.  Work hard to be genuinely and meaningfully inclusive, because that’s the only way we can tackle global crises; if our own micro-movements are as diverse and as collaborative as they can be.  Let’s amplify our sisters’ voices.

[1] https://www.amazon.co.uk/Why-Women-Will-Save-Planet/dp/1786993147/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1541708890&sr=8-1&keywords=why+women+will+save+the+planet

 

[2] http://redlizardmedia.com/climateandgender/

Paris (Dis)Agreement

A recent climate report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) believes that we must take drastic action in order to limit global warming to 1.5 °C. [1]

 

The article highlights the seriousness of this rise in temperature, and its effects on the planet; severe heat waves, extinction of coral reefs, and ice-free summers in the Arctic, to name a few.  The Paris 2015 Climate Agreement aimed to limit global temperature increase to between 1.5 and 2°C.  We are currently progressing to a 3°C rise by the turn of the century.  These conditions would make be extremely difficult for human survival.

 

The primary example the IPCC have suggested to combat these figures, is to eat less meat.  The Guardian agrees with this initiative.  Damian Carrington, Environment editor, wrote earlier this year that consumers should avoid meat and dairy in order to reduce our impact on the Earth.[2]

 

Carrington cites that a vegan diet helps decrease greenhouse gas emissions, global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use.  Rather than choosing not to fly, or buying an electric car, veganism can be the simplest and easiest lifestyle change.  To summarise, Carrington’s most poignant statement was that it is more environmentally beneficial to avoid all animal consumption, rather than purchasing ‘sustainable’ meat and dairy sources.

 

Meat and dairy products linked to the significance of climate impact are becoming more publicised.  More people are speaking about their boycotting.  But the system needs to be scrutinized further.  In order to meet the Paris Agreement’s targets, veganism needs to be promoted on a more global, and specifically political level.

 

Government officials’ reluctance to identify meat consumption as a link to climate change needs to be addressed.[3]  Animal Welfare Acts, the Agriculture and Trade Policy, and food taxation laws need to be discussed by politicians, and an action plan created.  I believe we require a sustainable food revolution, to work towards the Paris Agreement, and meet tomorrow’s growing demand.

[1] https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06876-2

 

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and-dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth

 

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/30/meat-and-fish-protein-multinationals-jeopardising-paris-climate-goals