By CGTN’s Karina Huber
The historic Paris Climate Agreement ratified in 2016 led to national commitments to reduce carbon emissions. In many cases, the responsibility for implementation is left to the world's most prominent cities. The C40, a network consisting of 90 mayors representing 650 million people, is working together to tackle climate change. It has just launched an initiative called "Women4Climate," which highlights the important role women play in the fight against climate change.
The 1991 cyclone in Bangladesh killed an estimated 138,000 people, with the majority of the victims being women and children. According to the United Nations, women in low-income countries are far more likely than men to perish in natural disasters triggered by climate change. That is in part because they are less likely to have life-saving skills like the ability to swim.
But women are also leading the charge in fighting climate change. They initiated the Paris Climate Agreement signed by more than 190 countries. And now some of the world's most prominent female mayors representing cities like Cape Town, Madrid, Caracas and Paris have formed the C40 Women4Climate Initiative.
“Sexism is not a myth. It is a daily reality for a lot of women. The aim of our initiative is to shape the future by concretely empowering our girls right now,” said Anne Hidalgo, C40 Chair and Mayor of Paris.
The event comes at a challenging time for those concerned about the environment. US President Donald Trump is a climate change sceptic and has given mixed signals on whether he plans on withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement.
But Hidalgo remains optimistic and pledged to continue the fight against climate change sceptics.
"In the United States, for example, what seemed certain just last year is under attack today. And be confident on this American women, we will stand by your side. And also be confident American cities, we will stand by your side."
The message at this event was clear: no matter what may be happening on the national level in some countries, municipal leaders around the world - many of them women - view climate change as a serious threat and are determined to tackle the challenge with or without the help of federal governments.