UN Women Addresses Climate Change through Women’s Empowerment

Remarks by Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, at a side event organized by the UNFCCC, UN Global Compact and Rockefeller Foundation, New York, 19 September 2013.

Ms. Christiana Figueres, Ms. Heather Grady, distinguished panelists, ladies and gentlemen. UN Women is privileged to partner with the UNFCCC, the UN Global Compact and the Rockefeller Foundation in this timely and most relevant discussion on the crucial role and leadership of the private sector in advancing women’s empowerment and gender equality in the response to climate change.

Climate change has differentiated impacts on women and men. For the majority of women in developing countries, persistent drought or sudden or recurrent floods have disproportionate impacts on the livelihoods and health of women and their children. But resilient as they are, women have not just been passive victims to the effects of climate change. They have been agents and contributors to climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts, including as subsistence farmers, solar engineers, natural resource managers, and entrepreneurs.

While the day-to-day operations of business and the private sector can have a detrimental impact on the environment and climate, private sector companies can also be key contributors in global efforts to build a healthier and more resilient world. They must become strong actors for climate change action.

In terms of mitigation, they can reduce their carbon footprint, help achieve our goals to prevent greenhouse gas concentrations from reaching dangerous levels, through sustainable production mechanisms, reduction of waste and adoption of responsible waste disposal and management practices, and energy efficiency, for example.

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