‘It’s common sense’ to help women affected by global warming, says Therese Coffey | Nature | New

The environment secretary explained how “common sense and common decency” means that countries must limit gender inequalities that are exacerbated by extreme weather events. Ms Coffey, speaking at COP27 on Gender Day, said: “No one deserves to be left behind and everyone has something to offer.

“We need everyone on board if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and the decline of the natural world.

“Common sense and, frankly, common decency tells us that addressing climate inequality is the smart thing to do and the right thing to do.

“Collectively, governments are in the driver’s seat of billions of public dollars that our citizens rightly expect us to ensure women have greater access to through programs designed with their needs in mind from the start.”

Girls often stay out of school longer when drought hits and have to walk further to find water sources.

They are often sold as children when affected families cannot afford to feed their daughters.

Women also make up the majority of the world’s small-scale farmers, meaning their livelihoods are most affected by floods or extreme heat. Rose Caldwell, chief executive of global children’s charity Plan International UK, said: “When climate disaster strikes, such as droughts in East Africa where communities are now on the brink of starvation, girls are likely to bear the brunt of it.

“The UK Government must play its full role in ensuring that COP27 acts on reducing emissions and building a greener and fairer future for all. Passing on the COP presidency does not mean passing on moral responsibility .”

COP26 President Alok Sharma urged countries to stay committed to the goal of keeping warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

Experts believe that goal could be under threat as poor nations struggle to find common ground with wealthier countries.

Mr Sharma warned: “This cannot be the COP where we lose 1.5 degrees. We have to fight for this and every fraction of a degree makes a difference.”

Teresa H. Sadler