At today’s 2nd annual Women4Climate conference, mayors, business leaders, citizens, and changemakers from around the world gathered to advance a shared global agenda that spans education, innovation, and economic equality and highlights the critical role of women in acting on climate change. They also honored the 10 young women climate leaders selected to be part of Mexico City’s Women4Climate Mentorship Programme, which matches mayors, committed leaders from the business sector, international organizations and civil society with the unstoppable women leaders of tomorrow.
After successful pilot programs in Paris and now in Mexico City, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson announced today at the Women4Climate conference that their cities will launch their own Women4Climate Mentorship Programmes to celebrate and support local female leadership on climate in their cities. Mentorship programmes will also be launched in the cities of Durban and Quito.
“It is no secret that women leaders are at the forefront of global climate action, but too often the world fails to adequately recognize their ambitious and important work to create a more sustainable world,” said C40 Chair and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. “As women mayors and leaders across all sectors of society, it’s our responsibility to support and celebrate the talented, intelligent young women leaders of tomorrow. We must nurture their passion, bolster their resiliency and equip them on their journey to shape the future. We need them, and more importantly, our planet needs them.”
The 10 extraordinary winners of Mexico City’s Women4Climate Mentorship Programme were selected from a pool of applicants after submission of a project proposal adhering to the framework of Mexico City’s award-winning Climate Action Programme. These women will receive technical support to bring their proposals to life and will connect with inspirational mentors who will share their breadth of knowledge and experience to help them become powerful future leaders in their respective fields.
As the movement for universal women’s rights, empowerment, and representation continues to sweep the globe, C40 cities have been exemplary of the incredible progress being made: since 2014, the number of C40 member cities with women mayors has increased 300% from 4 to 16. Women around the world are making their voices heard, from the #MeToo movement to the unprecedented numbers of women who are running for – and winning – public office. While those numbers are certainly indicative of an important societal evolution, there is much more work to be done.
“We are living in an unprecedented era of female achievement – from boardrooms to city hall and everywhere in between – but we will not be satisfied until we have mitigated and adapted the most pressing challenge of our time: climate change,” said Alexandra Palt, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer of L'Oréal and Executive Vice President of the L'Oréal Foundation. “L’Oréal is honored to be part of the critically important work of the Women4Climate initiative, and we are incredibly proud of the young women leaders in the Women4Climate Mentorship Programme whose passion, drive and success forms a blueprint for a bright, sustainable and resilient future.”
"As the first female mayor of Montréal, I am committed to making sustainable mobility, economy and climate change my priorities. And I want to make sure that women have a say in these issues. Together, we continue to implement an ambitious plan leading the way to a safer, healthier and greener city. This is why I am proud that Montréal is launching its Women4Climate Mentorship Program to support and encourage young women leaders to play an active role in their communities”, said Mayor of Montréal, Valérie Plante.
“Our time to act has never been more appropriate than it is now. Not only are we fighting for inclusivity and women’s rights but also those of Mother Earth,” said Zandile Gumede, Mayor of Durban. “That is why I am proud to launch this initiative to identify and support the next generation of powerful women in Durban."
“The battle against climate change cannot be won without cities; and this battle requires strong, capable women to be involved in decision making at all levels. Like this we can have a sustainable future for all,” said Mayor of Quito, Mauricio Rodas.
To respond to the need for more female leadership, especially on climate and environment, C40 has designated the Women4Climate initiative as a top priority and aims to mentor 500 women from around the world by 2020.
In addition to the Mentorship Programme, the Women4Climate Initiative also includes a Tech Challenge, a global competition designed to drive innovative climate solutions from women working in the tech sector and a research stream. The competition will be officially launched at the Global Climate Action Summit, September 12-14, 2018 in San Francisco, and finalists will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas from the main stage to all C40 mayors at the 2019 C40 Mayors Summit in Paris. Winners will receive a fellowship and see their ideas implemented in C40 cities.
To inform the decision making process and support cities in considering gender-specific impacts and solutions in urban and climate action planning, C40 is working on a research report to be published by end of 2018 that will provide cities the tools to implement inclusive climate action strategies that take gender equality into account.
The Women4Climate Conference has been generously supported by L'Oréal, Citelum, Suez, El Pais and ELLE Magazine.