There are two powerful phenomena unfolding on Earth: the rise of global warming and the rise of women and girls. The link between them is often overlooked, but gender equality is a key answer to our planetary challenge.
That was how I opened my November 2018 TED Talk and it is as true today as it was then.
My name is Dr. Katharine Wilkinson and I am a vice president at Project Drawdown, a nonprofit organization that seeks to help the world reach “Drawdown”— the future point in time when levels of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline. Along with Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, I am also co-editor of a new book, All We Can Save, which comes out this September and, like The InfluencHER Project, amplifies the voices of women leaders.
The good news is that there is a growing, mighty chorus of these voices in the work to address the climate crisis and transform society for a just and life-giving future. To rapidly, radically reshape society this decade — the task science has set clearly before us — status quo leadership will not suffice. Conventional climate work has been unable to move society beyond lukewarm concern and insufficient action. We need an upwelling of transformational climate leadership that is more characteristically feminine and more faithfully feminist, rooted in compassion, connection, creativity, and collaboration.
As is clearly reinforced by the courageous women whose wisdom and vision populates All We Can Save and the incredible women highlighted in this week’s newsletter (Mary Annaïse Heglar is both!), we will not solve the climate crisis without addressing gender and racial justice. They are inextricably linked. We cannot heal our planet without a feminist climate renaissance.
In the face of a seemingly impossible challenge, one thing I know for certain is that women and girls are a fierce source of possibility. Together, we must stay committed to supporting transformational leadership, elevating each other’s voices, building community, and demanding our seat at the table on climate change and beyond.
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Women and the Climate Crisis