Written by: Kimberly White

Mayors from cities around the globe are joining together to support women climate leaders.

The Mayors of Sydney, Australia; Lisbon, Portugal; Quito, Ecuador; Montreal, Canada, and Paris, France announced plans for new mentorship programs for current and emerging women leaders in their cities at the third annual Women4Climate conference in Paris.

Women4Climate, an initiative launched by C40 Cities, aims to increase women’s leadership in climate action and prompt gender inclusivity.

Ten women leaders will be selected in each city. From there, they will be matched with mayors, city officials, international organizations, and business leaders.

“Climate action is the City of Sydney’s top priority. Working together, women leaders from government, business and the community are transforming our cities. We’re reducing the impact our urban centres have on the environment, while designing, building and governing places where people want to live” said Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore. We know that women are disproportionately impacted by climate change, and we know that women leaders are both determined and effective. That’s why we are excited to host the 2020 Women4Climate conference and to participate in the mentoring program, to support current and emerging women leaders to become experts in driving accelerated action on climate change.”

Women’s empowerment is a key component to fighting the climate crisis. However, while women account of more than half of the global population, they face a lack of inclusion and representation at the decision making level.

Most of the world’s nations have never had a female leader.
Credit: Pew Research Center

Project Drawdown lists educating girls, family planning, and women smallholders as some of the most important solutions in climate change mitigation.

“Lisbon is proudly joining C40 Women4Climate initiative with a program starting in 2020,” said Fernando Medina, Mayor of Lisbon. “This is a testament of our commitment to climate action but also to an increasingly fair and equal society where women can be decision makers and leaders in any field. Lisbon Municipality’s workforce is composed of 41,9% women. But in leadership positions 56,5% are women, and we would like this trend to be the norm in other areas of activity. Developing the Women4Climate program in Lisbon allows us to foster the climate leadership we need so desperately in the very near future, in areas such as education, research or innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Women4Climate has ongoing mentorship programs in London, Mexico City, and Tel Aviv. Additional programs in Barcelona and Auckland are expected to launch this year.

Applications are open to individuals from a range of backgrounds, from students to NGO leaders.

To learn more about Women4Climate or to apply for one of the mentorship opportunities, please visit Women4Climate.

Header Image Credit: Rudy Balasko/Shutterstock