Segolene Royal, the French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy and President of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21), says women are the first victims of global warming, but are also the most likely to come up with real solutions.
Royal, speaking Thursday ahead of formal signing of the COP21 climate change agreement at the United Nation’s headquarters in New York, said the pact should specify that women ought to be more involved in combating the global warming threat, and that countries should have a set quota of women working in environmental organizations.
Royal also called for creating agricultural schools for women, with programs that cover renewable energy and promoting the use of the more environmentally friendly cooking areas, such as biogas-fuelled kitchens.
Royal also touched on how the majority of victims of the tsunami that struck Asia on Dec. 26, 2004, were women who could not swim and chose to protect their children as the the tragedy was taking place. She warned that women should be educated in how to respond to natural disasters such as floods linked to global warming.
World leaders will formally sign the COP21 climate change agreement, reached in Paris, at the United Nations’ headquarters on Friday.
The accord, which was the result of negotiations at COP21 summit in December 2015 between close to 200 countries, has been hailed as “historic” for its ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions in the Earth’s atmosphere.
The agreement seeks to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, has set individual targets for nations, asked countries to be transparent on its emissions and requests richer nations to give financial support to poor nations to help them reduce their emissions.