This article is a shoutout to women warriors who are playing major roles in climate action.Their work addresses various significant issues and is contributing to a more equal society. Read about these women and how they are not only an important part of the team but also leaders of successful movements towards creating a sustainable future. Here are examples 16 of such ‘climate heroines’ and their efforts ranging from redesigning agricultural techniques to entrepreneurship in the green energy sector.
There has never been a more urgent need to become warriors for the cause of saving the world we live in. Floods in one part of the world while the other battles drought, melting ice, soaring temperatures, multiple species of flora and fauna on the verge of extinction – We have overwhelming proof of the fact that we have gone too far, and messed way too much with the environment.
After all the alarm bells have sounded, people from across the world have woken up to see the catastrophe exactly as it is, happening right in front of their eyes. While we cannot go back and change the past, we can try to undo the damage we have inflicted upon our planet. To this effect, there are some people who are doing more than most, in order to save the world we live in. Among them, are a few women whose battle against climate change might be the inspiration we need to break our silence and act.
Here are some of the most inspiring women of all time, who are fighting against climate change:
1. Vandana Shiva
Dr. Vandana Shiva is an environmental activist; founder of Navdanya Trust; and author of more than 20 books about protecting the diversity of living resources, especially native seeds, and promotion of organic farming and fair trade. She was identified as an environmental hero by Time magazine in 2003, and Asia Week has called her one of the five most powerful communicators in Asia. She has been identified one of the seven most powerful women on the globe by Forbes magazine.
2. Sunita Narain
Ms Sunita Narain is an environmentalist and author. She is currently the Director General of Center for Science and Environment (CSE) and Editor of the fortnightly magazine, Down To Earth. In 2016, Time Magazine listed her as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Her work is to research the interface between food and the environment. She works to ensure that countries in the Southern world do not adopt highly chemical-intensive agricultural systems, as they do not have the capacity to mitigate and manage the toxic fallout on the environment and human health.
3. Saalumarada Thimmakka
A 107-year-old Padma Shri, Saalumarada Thimmakka is an Indian environmentalist who became one without any conscious thought or effort. Pained by not having children, she planted over 8,000 trees, including hundreds of banyan trees. She worked as a daily-wage labourer. Banyan trees were available in plenty in her village and Thimmakka and her husband began grafting saplings from these trees and planting them alongside the road connecting to their closest village.
4. Christiana Figueres
Former Executive Secretary of UNFCCC Christiana Figueres has been involved in climate change negotiations since 1995. She has worked with many boards of non-governmental organizations involved in climate change issues. She is a widely published author on the design of climate solution, has been a frequent adviser to the private sector, and lectures at many universities and colleges.
5. Greta Thunberg
15-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg has been championing the cause asking powerful world leaders to take seriously the impending consequences of climate change. She’s vocal in criticizing policymakers for paying mere lip service in addressing this plaguing issue. Last year, Greta started a school strike for climate, outside the Swedish Parliament, accusing her country of not following the Paris Climate Agreement. Her protest evoked a huge response. Since then, the movement has spread all over the world with over 1,00,000 school children involved. The movement is called Fridays For Future.
6. Kate Marvel
Climate change scientist Dr Kate Marvel is an associate research scientist at Columbia University and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. Her research focuses on climate modelling and clouds to better predict how much the Earth’s temperature will rise in the future. She did her Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Cambridge.
7. Ellen Page
The award-winning actress Ellen Page just made her directorial debut with There’s Something in the Water – a documentary which draws attention to the injustices and injuries caused by environmental racism in her home province. This documentary talks about indigenous and African Nova Scotian women fighting to protect their communities, their land, and their futures. Page wanted to use her celebrity platform to help shed light on the issue of environmental racism.
8. Wu Changhua
Chief Executive Officer of the Beijing Future Innovation Center Ms Changhua Wu is a specialist and policy analyst in the field of sustainability in China. She received an award for her contributions to China’s low-carbon growth. She advises governments and corporations on sustainability, strategy and innovation. She’s a strategist in public and private engagement for a clean energy transformation and an advocate of policy change and practice leadership.
9. Rachel Kyte
Rachel Kyte is the CEO and Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL). Previously, she was World Bank Group Vice President and special envoy for climate change. In that role, she oversaw work on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and climate finance across the institutions of the World Bank Group.
10. Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim
33-year-old Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim is an environmental activist and geographer. She is working on behalf of her people for international high-level policy discussions on climate change. She is working to collect indigenous knowledge about natural resources in Chad as part of a 3-D mapping project, while also representing her community in climate discussions at the United Nations.
11. Anne Simpson
Anne Simpson, director of global governance at CalPERS is leading sustainability project to integrate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors across the total fund. CalPERS is the largest public pension system in the U.S. with approximately $270 billion in global assets.
12. Miranda Wang
Miranda Wang is Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of BioCellection, that’s converting plastic waste into valuable industrial chemicals used in the making of familiar products like cars, electronic goods, textiles and cleaning agents. She now plans to develop a fully-commercial processing plant and recycle 45,500 tonnes of plastic waste by 2023. In doing so, she will help eliminate 320,000 tonnes of CO₂ emissions, produce useful products from substances that people would otherwise throw away.
Sugathakumari is an Indian poet and environmentalist who has been at the forefront of environmental and feminist movements in Kerala. She played a big role in the Save Silent Valley protest. She formed Abhayagrama, aka Abhayagramam, a home for destitute women (Athani) and a day-care centre for the mentally ill. She was the former chairperson of the Kerala State Women’s Commission.
14. Hilda Heine
Hilda C. Heine is first Marshallese woman and eighth president of the Republic of The Marshall Island. Low elevation, extreme floods and persistent droughts have left the Marshall Islands and its people, at risk of becoming climate change refugees. Hilda released a comprehensive climate strategy, that will help Marshall Islands become the first island nation to go carbon-neutral by 2050.
15. Dr Katharine Wilkinson
Katharine is Vice President of Communication & Engagement at Project Drawdown, and Senior Writer for the New York Times bestseller Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. She believes that climate change is humanity’s greatest challenge and it demands ambitious, swift, exponential action across society. Her aim is to help others envision what’s possible for this earth and persevere to make it happen.
16. Kotchakorn Voraakhom
Ms Kotchakorn Voraakhom is a landscape architect who’s tackling climate change with her works on building green public spaces that could help absorb water in storms, to reduce flooding. She wants to solve urban ecological problems through landscape architectural design. She has worked on many projects including a major urban ecological park that doubles as a water retention facility when it rains, in the heart of Bangkok, and a number of other innovative public landscape designs.
This article was originally written by Bhupinder Singh for the Indiatimes Environment section and can be found here