Over the past few years, international climate policy has been shaped largely by a close-knit group of politicians in the twilight of their careers. Now leaders from beyond the traditional U.S.-Europe-China power center — some new to the international stage, others already veterans — are emerging. And women are at the forefront.
“Women are now the decision makers that can increase the likelihood of impactful decisions that actually stick,” says Jennifer Morgan, Germany’s special climate envoy. After all, she says, it was two women — Laurence Tubiana, France’s climate envoy, and Christiana Figueres, who ran the United Nations’ climate body — who helped broker the landmark Paris Agreement in 2015 to slow global warming.
With the world dangerously off track from the target of keeping temperature rise within 1.5C of pre-industrial times, a global plan to tackle climate change is needed more than ever. We take a look at some of the people who will be leading those efforts in the years to come.
Few have changed the rules of the climate capital game more than Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley. Through powerful speeches and radical proposals, she’s led a push to rewire the global financial system to make it easier for poor countries to have access to funds.
Mottley, 58, wants to overhaul the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank so less creditworthy countries can borrow more money to invest in protections against deadly weather events and be eligible for temporary debt relief when a disaster hits.
Mia Mottley participates in the session “Funding Earth’s Future: How to Scale Climate Finance in Frontline Communities” during the Clinton Global Initiative September 2023 Meeting at New York Hilton Midtown on September 18, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Clinton Global Initiative)
More than 40 world leaders met in Paris earlier this year to discuss her plan, known as the Bridgetown Agenda. The summit closed with support for more nimble IMF emergency funding, early warning systems for disasters, catastrophe insurance and pauses on debt repayments.
“She is an incredible speaker,” says Sebastien Treyer, executive director of French think tank Institut du Développement Durable et des Relations Internationales. “I have heard her speak many times, but every time I am emotionally taken again.”
Island nations play an outsized role in climate talks because their very existence threatened by rising seas and more frequent and forceful cyclones. But it is Mottley who has taken center stage in pitching the solutions for developing countries, while allying herself to the likes of French President Emmanuel Macron to win support.
Her Bridgetown Initiative — a blueprint to overhaul the global financial system to help heavily-indebted climate-vulnerable countries — was forged in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017. After watching the category 5 storm ravage the neighboring island of Dominica, Mottley and her college buddy Avinash Persaud, a development economist, set about drawing up a …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment