Celebrating Women Climate Change Leaders

This International Women's Day, we are taking a moment to reflect on the immense gratitude we hold for the women who have paved a path for us. Over history, women leaders have fought for equal rights, not only for themselves, but for their families, communities, and the environment. We wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for a group of brave female activists before us, who gave us the confidence to break through barriers, showing us that women can be powerful leaders of change while also taking care of their community. 

We have come a long way, but there is still so far to come.

Climate change continues to wreak havoc on our environment, impacting the health and wellbeing of so many with the depletion of natural resources and climate disasters. Our reliance on fossil fuels is only getting worse, creating green house gas emissions and global warming leading to drought and poverty around the world. Unfortunately, women and girls are disproportionately impacted by the damages of climate change, the UN estimates that 80% of those displaced by climate change are women. In fact, one of the top impacts to improving climate change, according to Project Drawdown, is educating girls.

Women's firsthand experience of the impact of climate change has made them uniquely qualified to fight for climate reform.  This International Women's Day, we honour the climate leaders who have inspired us in the past, and set our intention on building many female climate change leaders in the future.

Jane Adams was a social activist, reform pioneer, and a leader in fighting for equal rights for women and immigrants. She was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for rekindling the spirit of peace for all of mankind. She uncovered environmental health concerns, including lead poisoning in low-income communities, and advocated for environmental equality for all. 
Wangari Maathai (1940 - 2011)

Wangari Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement to improve deforestation in Kenya by working with women's groups to teach women how to plant trees and earn a living from the land. The movement has trained 30,000 women in trades to raise them out of poverty, and planted over 51 million trees. She is the first African woman to receive a Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.

L. Hunter Lovins is president and founder of the Natural Capitalism Solutions (NCS), which guides senior decision-makers in business, government and civil society to restore and enhance the natural and human capital. She cofounded the Rocky Mountain Institute, which she led for 20 years and was named Time Magazine 2000 Hero of the Planet. 
Frances Beinecke was the President of the National Resources Defense Council and one of the first female graduates of Yale University.  She was appointed by President Barack Obama to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. 
JoAnn Tall is an environmental activist of the Oglala Lakota tribe who fought for a democratic process to ensure major energy developments considered all inputs. She protested uranium mining and testing nuclear weapons on the Black Hills area, and was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for her efforts.
Rosalie Edge was a suffragist and militant conservationist. She founded the Emergency Conservation Committee to not only expose the conservation establishment’s ineffectiveness, but to advocate for species preservation.
Figueres is a Costa Rican diplomat who has appointed Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. She worked to rebuild the global climate change negotiations leading to the 2015 Paris Agreement, widely recognized as a historical achievement.

Winona LaDuke

American activist Winona LaDuke's non-profit the White Earth Land Recovery Project has revived the cultivation of wild rice in Minnesota, and sells traditional foods under its label Native Harvest. She's also the cofounder of Honor the Earth, a Native-led organization that provides grants to Native-run environmental initiatives, and the first Green Party leader to gain an electoral vote.

Noami Klein

Author and social activist Naomi Klein wrote, No LogoShock Doctrine, as well as, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. A critic of capitalism, her latest mission has been to fight for reduced emissions. Her books on climate change are award-winning and some of the most influential materials of this decade.