More than 400 climate leaders call for gender equality in leadership for COP26

SHE changes climate change

In an open letter to the British Government, more than 400 women climate leaders call for greater accountability and transparency on gender equality in the COP26 leadership team, in a campaign launched today.

Mary Robinson, Laurence Tubiana and Katharine Wilkinson are among the climate leaders to have signed a letter, which demands stronger female representation in what is currently a male dominated COP26 leadership team, with less than 25% women in influencing leadership positions.

Next November, the UK will bring together heads of state, climate experts and campaigners from across the globe to agree on coordinated action to tackle climate change at COP26 in Glasgow. At present, the senior leadership team responsible for setting the agenda is predominantly male, compromising the success in a critical year for climate action.

Male dominated COP26 leadership team

The campaign, organised by SHEChangesClimate, asks that COP26 Leadership team embraces women’s equal participation and supports gender equality to drive more positive outcomes. The letter points to evidence that including women in COP26 decision and negotiation rules will give it a greater chance of success and ensure a fairer decision-making process.

  • At COP25 last year, the British Government signed up to the Gender Action Plan (GAP), which stresses the importance of women’s inclusion and gender equality in the processes for discussions and decision-making on climate change.
  • Research in GAP shows that women and girls are disproportionately affected by climate change, as well as having critical roles in the family and community in climate action.
  • In addition, there is a growing body of evidence and widespread recognition that the inclusion of women in leadership teams leads to better, more effective results.

The list of signatories spans climate, law, politics, business, tech, finance, campaigning and culture – women around the world have gathered to galvanise action towards a more inclusive COP26. Household names like Emma Thompson, Lily Cole and Ellie Goudling are in the company of co-author of the Paris Agreement Luciana Tubiana, Nobel Prize Laureate Jody Williams, Jennifer Morgan from Greenpeace, Kate Brant at Google, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim and many more amazing women.

The letter reveals the disappointment and frustration felt by many climate leaders, that the current COP26 leadership team is predominantly male, failing to accommodate gender balance and ignoring the benefits that women’s leadership brings to the climate debate.

SHEChangesClimate has a team of high profile and senior climate leaders ready and willing to join the team and the ambassadors for COP26, working alongside existing members of the leadership team.

Stay up to date with the campaign by following @sheclimate on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and by checking out their website / #SHEChangesClimate