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Women in Climate Change

The contributions of women in climate change have received increasing attention in the early 21st century. Feedback from women and the issues faced by women have been described as "imperative" by the United Nations and "critical" by the Population Reference Bureau. A report by the World Health Organization concluded that incorporating gender-based analysis would "provide more effective climate change mitigation and adaptation."

gender-based analysis climate change health

1. Introduction

Mary Robinson.
Christiana Figueres.

Women have made major contributions to climate change research and policy and to broader analysis of global environmental issues.[1] They include many women scientists as well as policy makers and activists. Women researchers have made significant contributions to major scientific assessments such as those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and are reasonably well represented on key global change committees of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and US National Academy of Sciences. Women have played important leadership roles in international climate policy. For example, Christiana Figueres leads the international climate negotiations as the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and former Irish President Mary Robinson is the UN Special Envoy on Climate Change. Susan Solomon chaired the climate science working group 1 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment in 2007.

2. Underrepresentation of Women in Science

Women are generally underrepresented in science and have faced many barriers to their success and recognition.[2][3] Following the scientific revolution in the 17th century European women became involved in observational science, including astronomy, natural history and weather observations although many universities would not admit women until the late 19th century.[4][5][6][7]

The latest report from the US National Science Foundation[8] shows that while women are now earning half of the undergraduate degrees in science and engineering, most of these are in the biosciences (especially pre-med) compared to physics, computer sciences and engineering (20%). In terms of doctorates, women are also only 20% of the engineering and physics PhDs. Although the proportion of women full professors in the US has doubled since 1993 women occupy less than 1/4 of senior faculty positions in science and engineering and women earn less than men at the same level.

It has been noted that women of color, indigenous women and women from the global south are even more likely to be overlooked, to be poorly represented in the academy and leadership.[9] This is associated with a legacy of discrimination, lack of educational opportunities, language barriers, and a lack of effort to identify and cite them.[10][11]

3. Women in Climate Change Disciplines

Women are underrepresented in key disciplines for the study of climate change. For example, women are a minority in the earth sciences where surveys reveal that less than 20% of meteorologists and geoscientists are women.[12] A recent analysis of US atmospheric science doctoral programs reveals that women were 17% of tenure track and tenured faculty, with even smaller proportions at higher rank, and 53% of departments had two or fewer women faculty.[13] Women are slightly better represented in the ecological sciences. One study reports that women are 55% of graduate students in ecology but only 1/3 of tenured faculty are women and that 3/4 of the articles in the flagship international journal - Ecology - are written by men.[14] Women received proportionally less research funding and were less likely to be cited by their colleagues. Women members of the Ecological Society of America increased from 23% in 1992 to 37% in 2010.[15]

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization publishes data on women in science worldwide.[16] Overall women are better represented as a share of total scientific researchers in Latin America, Oceania and Europe (30%+) and least in Asia (19%).

4. Arguments for Women in Science and Climate Change

It is argued that when women are overlooked as scholars and decision makers the world fails to take advantage of its full human capacity, which is needed for issues as urgent as climate change.[17] Women may also take more collaborative approaches, especially in negotiations, and may pay more attention to disadvantaged groups and to the natural environment.[18][19]

Gender has become an issue because of women's essential roles in managing resources such as water, forests and energy and as women lead fights for environmental protection.[20][21]

A general concern has been expressed about the need to highlight the work of women and to include more women in major committees in order to provide gender balance, social justice, and inspiration to young women to enter careers in science.[22][23] This reflects more general arguments about the barriers to women's advancement and the need for women to 'Lean in' to leadership positions.[24]

Susan Solomon.

5. Women and International Climate Policy

The outcome document of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development - the Future we Want - recognized the need to remove barriers to the full and equal participation of women in decision making and management and the need to increase women in leadership positions.[25] A report prepared by UN Women, the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice, the Global Gender and Climate Alliance and the UNFCCC recognizes the structural inequalities that impede the representation of women in climate science, negotiations and policies and recommends greater gender balance in the UNFCCC and national delegations.[26] The report argues that the 'challenges of climate change cannot be solved without empowering women' and that women have been marginalized in international negotiations. It reports data that show weak representation of women in the institutions of the UNFCCC including the Adaptation Committee (25%), the GEF Council (19%) and the Expert Group (15%) and that overall women constitute less than 20% of delegation heads and less than 30% of delegation members at UNFCCC conferences.

6. The Manthropocene

A call for international science to pay greater attention to the inclusion of women scholars was made by Kate Raworth[27] and then in her article "Must the Anthropocene be the Manthropocene?"[28] She pointed out that the working group of 36 scientists and scholars who convened in Berlin in 2014 to begin assessing evidence humanity was entering a new epoch, the Anthropocene, was composed almost entirely of men. She stated: "Leading scientists may have the intellect to recognize that our planetary era is dominated by human activity, but they still seem oblivious to the fact that their own intellectual deliberations are bizarrely dominated by white northern male voices".

7. Women Working in Climate Change

There are a variety of ways to identify women who have made major contributions to climate change. The first is the list of authors of the high level international assessments for the UN and other organizations such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The second is to examine women who have been invited to join the editorial boards of climate change refereed journals. A third is to look at the membership of the global change committees of the International Council for Science (ICSU). And a fourth is to recognize women that are members of their National Academy of Sciences who work on climate change. Many of them are IPCC or other report authors, and also members of ICSU committees, members of their National Academy and other marks of accomplishment.

8. Ecofeminism

This is a branch of feminism that sees environmentalism and the relationship between women and the earth as interlinked. Currently, young girls are taking more action at a younger age which is also known as the "Greta Thunberg effect."[29] Greta Thunberg is a sixteen-year-old environmental activist, who is well known for her work on fighting climate change, and is seen as a role model for younger girls. These new generations of girls are being called "eco-warriors", they are taking actions for the environment in various ways. In Kazakhstan, a group of young girls named Team Coco have come together to fight the ecological problems that pollute their nation, in order to accomplish this they have created an app known as TECO which is an "augmented reality game that merges educational and entertainment tools to help players change their behavior and become more eco-conscious."[30] More girls have been taking action against climate change by using technology, and in turn help encourage other political leaders to take action for climate change and business corporations to reduce the carbon foot print they leave behind.

9. Women Climate Researchers

  • Karin Bäckstrand:[31] Professor of Political Science at Stockholm University, Sweden who has written extensively on climate and environmental governance and advises the ICSU Earth System Governance project.
  • Michele Betsill:[32] Professor of Political Science at Colorado State University in the USA who is an expert on cities and climate change and transnational forms of climate governance. She is a member of the Scientific Steering Committee for the ICSU Earth System Governance project and was a contributing author to Working Group III of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report
  • Lidia Brito: Professor of Forestry at Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique who is the former Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology of Mozambique and has worked closely with UNESCO on global change issues and chaired the Planet under Pressure conference in 2012
  • Harriet Bulkeley:[33] Professor of Geography at the University of Durham in the UK who is an expert on cities and climate change, energy and environmental governance
  • Anny Cazenave:[34] Deputy director of the French Laboratory for Geophysical Studies and Spatial Oceanography who is an expert on sea level rise and IPCC lead author
  • Julia Cole: Professor of Geosciences at the University of Arizona USA. Expert on climate history, variability and corals. Leopold Leadership Fellow (2008), IPCC contributor and Google Science Communication Fellow (2011).
  • Cecilia Conde:[35] Professor of Atmospheric Science at UNAM, Mexico, who works on climate impacts on agriculture. She is the director of climate adaptation for the Mexican Institute of Ecology and Climate, contributor to IPCC.
  • Heidi Cullen Chief Scientist for Climate Central. Expert on climate change communication. Formerly climate change expert for weather channel. Science advisory board for NOAA
  • Judith Curry: Professor at the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology. She has written or co-authored over 140 research papers, mainly in the field of atmospheric science. She also runs her own climate blog, and has testified before the US House of Representatives.
  • Gretchen Daily: Professor of Environmental Science at Stanford University, director of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford, and senior fellow at Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Co-founder, Natural Capital Project. She is a fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. She is a board member of the Beijer Institute for Ecological Economics and The Nature Conservancy and was a MacArthur fellow.
  • Ruth DeFries: Professor of Sustainable Development Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, Columbia University. She is a faculty affiliate of the Earth Institute, Columbia University. She is a member of the United States Academy of Sciences and was a MacArthur Fellow in 2007. Defries specializes in using remote sensing to study earth's habitability in the context of deforestation and other human drivers that influence biophysical and biogeochemical regulatory processes.
  • Sandra Diaz:[36] Professor of Community and Ecosystems Ecology at Córdoba National University, and Senior Principal Researcher of the National Research Council of Argentina. She studies plant interactions with global change drivers and their effects on ecosystem properties. She was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2002 and is a Foreign Associate Member of the USA National Academy of Sciences. She participated in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the IPCC. She is a member of the Science Committee of the international programme on biodiversity science DIVERSITAS, and the founder and director of the international initiative Núcleo DiverSus on Diversity and Sustainability.
  • Pauline Dube:[37] Professor of Environmental Science, University of Botswana. Dube has expertise in sustainable development, community-inclusive environmental management, and climate change adaptation. She is an IPCC contributing author.
  • Kris Ebi:[38] Professor of Global Health, University of Washington. Expert on climate change impacts on health, IPCC coordinating lead author.
  • Tamsin Edwards: British climate scientist, lecturer at King's College London and a popular science communicator.
  • Eunice Newton Foote: Conducted early studies on warming of air containing carbon dioxide, presented in 1856 at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • Inez Fung: Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of California, Berkeley. She studies interactions between climate change and biogeochemical cycles and models climate co-evolution with atmospheric CO2. She contributed to the IPCC and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. She has been a fellow of NASA, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Meteorological Society.
  • Jacquelyn Gill is a paleoecologist and Assistant Professor of climate science at the University of Maine.
  • Joyeeta Gupta:[39] Professor of environment and development in the global south at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research of the University of Amsterdam and UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in Delft. She is a member of the Amsterdam Global Change Institute. She is a lead author of the IPCC and author of several books about global climate governance.
  • Heide Hackmann:[40] Chief Executive Officer, International Council for Science and Former Executive Director, International Social Science Council (ISSC). She is a specialist in science policy studies, the governance of science, and research evaluation.
  • Joanna Haigh: Professor of Atmospheric Physics at Imperial College London and co-director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a former head of the Department of Physics at Imperial College London, and a former president—now a vice-president—of the Royal Meteorological Society. She is an expert in solar variability and climate modelling.
  • Sandy Harrison:[41] Professor in Global Palaeoclimates and Biogeochemical Cycles at the University of Reading.
  • Katharine Hayhoe : Professor at Texas Tech University where she is director of the Climate Science Center. She is well known for her efforts to communicate faith based, especially Christian, concern about climate change and was an author of the US National Climate Assessment.
  • Ann Henderson-Sellers: Emeritus Professor of the Department of Environment and Geography and founding director of the Climate Impacts Center at Macquarie University, Sydney. Former director of the World Climate Research Programme and the Environment Division at ANTSO. She was a convening lead author for the IPCC SAR. She is an elected Fellow of Australia's Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. Her research comprises an intentional re-development of traditional climate science to communicate directly in the language of economics, policy, and regulation.
  • Ellie Highwood: Professor of Climate Physics at the University of Reading
  • Kathryn Hochstetler:[42] Professor of Political Science at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, University of Waterloo, in Canada. Her research is on the role of emerging powers in global climate politics, with a special focus on renewable electricity in Brazil and South Africa.
  • Marika Holland:[43] Senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) USA and until recently the chief scientist of the Community Earth System Model. Her research is on the role of sea ice in the climate system. IPCC author.
  • Katharine Jacobs:[44] Director of the Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions (CCASS), Institute of the Environment, University of Arizona. CCASS builds and supports climate change adaptation and assessment capacity at regional, national and international scales. Jacobs is a full professor in Soil, Water and Environmental Science at the University of Arizona. From 2009 - 2013 Jacobs served as Director of the U.S. National Climate Assessment and Assistant Director, Energy and Environment Division, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President, USA.
  • Jill Jager (Williams):[45] Independent Scholar, former Executive Director of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) (1999 until 2002) and senior researcher at the Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI), Austria (2004 until 2008). She studies research themes ranging from energy and climate, biodiversity, global responsibility, public and stakeholder participation, integrating policies to linkages between knowledge and action for sustainable development.
  • Mary Therese Kalin Arroyo: Director of the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity at the University of Chile in Santiago and winner of the Chilean National Prize in Natural Science in 2010. Her research interests center on the conservation of biodiversity of Mediterranean ecosystems and temperate forests of South America. She is a foreign associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, a member of the Chilean Academy of Sciences, and an honorary member of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
  • Sari Kovats:[46] Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social and Environmental Research in the Faculty of Public Health and Policy and Director of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Environmental Change and Health, led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in partnership with Public Health England (PHE). She researches the effects of weather and climate on human health, including health impact assessments of climate change and epidemiological studies of the effects of climate, weather and weather events in urban and rural populations.
  • Patricia Romero Lankao:[47] Scientist II, Research Applications Laboratory and Institute for the Study of Society and the Environment, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR UCAR), former Deputy Director, Institute for the Study of Society and the Environment, NCAR, and former professor at the Metropolitan Autonomous University in Mexico City. She studies the interactions between urban development and global environmental change.
  • Alice Larkin:[48] Professor of Climate Science and Energy Policy. Head of the School of Engineering] at the University of Manchester (UK)[49] and member of the Tyndall Centre for climate change research.[50] Trained as a physicist, Professor Larkin's research now focuses on reducing emissions from the energy system, with specialist interest in the aviation and shipping sectors.
  • Margaret Leinen: Director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. Expert in paleoclimate, climate impacts on the ocean, climate engineering.
  • Maria Carmen Lemos: Professor of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan who works on science and policy interactions in relation to water and climate and especially in Brazil
  • Corinne Le Quéré: Director of the Tyndall Center for Climate Change at the University of East Anglia UK whose research has made major contributions to carbon sciences and contributed to the annual carbon budgets of the ICSU Global Carbon project
  • Diana Liverman: Professor of Geography and Development and co-director of the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona USA and expert on the human dimensions of climate change. IPCC author. ICSU.
  • Jane Lubchenco: Professor of environmental science and marine ecology at Oregon State University. Former Administrator of NOAA and Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere (2009-2013). Her research interests include interactions between the environment and human well-being, biodiversity, climate change, and sustainable use of oceans and the planet.
  • Amanda Lynch: Professor of Environmental Studies at Brown University. She in an expert in polar climate modeling, indigenous environmental knowledge, and climate policy analysis. She is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.
  • Graciela Magrin:[51] Researcher at the Institute of Climate and Water at Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria (INTA) in Argentina. She participated in the IPCC and served as Training Material Reviewer of vulnerability and adaptation assessment related to climate change in the agriculture sector at the UNFCCC Secretariat in Germany. She specializes in climate change, vegetal ecophysiology, and agrometeorology.
  • Kate Marvel is a climate scientist and science writer. She is an Associate Research Scientist at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
  • Valérie Masson-Delmotte: Senior researcher at the Laboratoire des Science du Climat et de l’environnement, France. Co-chair of IPCC Working Group I.[52] She specializes in reconstructing and understanding past climate variations using natural archives, stable isotopes and climate models.
  • Pamela Matson: Dean of Earth Sciences at Stanford University, US; scholar of land use and sustainability science and member of the US National Academy of Sciences.
  • Linda Mearns: Senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) USA who works on regional climate models and climate impacts. IPCC author.
  • Linda Mortsch:[53] Senior Researcher, Adaptation and Impacts Research Division, Environment Canada. Adjunct in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo. She researches on the impact of climate change on water resources and wetlands in Canada, climate change scenario development, and “effective” communication of climate change information. She is a contributing author of the IPCC.
  • Suzanne Moser:[54] Consultant and researcher from Santa Cruz, California, USA who works on climate change impacts on coastal regions and on communication of climate information. ICSU committees.
  • Sunita Narain: Director general of the India-based Centre for Science and Environment and the director of the Society for Environmental Communications and publisher of the bimonthly magazine, Down To Earth. She is an influential environmental activist with interests in democracy at different scales, climate change, and natural resource management.
Sunita Narain CSE.
  • Isabelle Niang:[55]: Professor at the University of Chiekh Anta Diop in Dakar. An expert in coastal erosions and climate change; coordinating lead author of the chapters on ‘Afrique du Groupe de travail II’ for IPCC, in the 4th and 5th reports. Since 2008, she has been coordinating regional project ACCC (Adaptation au Changements Climatiques et Côtiers en Afrique de l’Ouest) and is based in BREDA/UNESCO. She is also Chair of the Pan-African Regional Committee for START (PACOM) through the Pan-African START Secretariat (PASS) based at the Institute for Resource Assessment (IRA) of the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
  • Andrea J. Nightingale:[56] Professor of Geography at the University of Oslo, Norway. An expert on the politics of climate change adaptation and mitigation, gender and intersectionality in relation to climate change and the politics of climate knowledge.
  • Karen O'Brien:[57] Professor of Geography at the University of Oslo, Norway who works on the human dimensions of global environmental change and societal transformation. IPCC author, ICSU committees
  • Elinor Ostrom: Professor of Political Science at Indiana University, USA who won the Nobel Prize for Economics and worked on the management of common property resources and sustainability.
  • Bette Otto-Bliesner:[58] Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, and serves as head of NCAR's Paleoclimate Modeling Program. She is an expert in using computer-based models of Earth's climate system to investigate past climate change and climate variability across a wide range of time scales. IPCC author.
  • Jean Palutikof: Founding Director of the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) at Griffith University, Australia. Her research focuses on the application of climatic data to economic and planning issues, especially extreme events and their impacts. IPCC author.
  • Jyoti Parikh: Executive Director of Integrated Research and Action for Development IRADe. She is an expert on energy and environment problems of developing countries. She served as an energy consultant to the World Bank, the U.S. Department of Energy, EEC, Brussels and UN institutions such as UNIDO, FAO, UNU, UNESCO, and as an Environment Consultant to UNDP. IPCC author.
  • Joyce Penner:[59] Professor of Atmospheric Science at University of Michigan. She studies cloud and aerosol interactions and cloud microphysics, climate and climate change, global tropospheric chemistry and budgets, and modelling. IPCC author.
  • Vicky Pope: Head of the Climate Prediction Programme at the Hadley Centre, which provides independent scientific advice on climate change. Her research interests include developing and validating climate models.
  • Maureen E. Raymo: Paleoclimatologist and marine geologist. She is the Director of the Lamont-Doherty Core Repository at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.
  • Katherine Richardson Christensen: Professor in Biological Oceanography at the University of Copenhagen’s Sustainability Science Center. She was one of the main organizers of the scientific conference, "Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions," which sought to inform the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference. She studies carbon cycling in the upper ocean and how biological processes impact food webs. She also researches planetary boundaries.
  • Terry Root:[60] Researcher at Stanford University who works on ecosystems and climate change especially birds. IPCC author.
  • Cynthia Rosenzweig: Researcher at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) New York who works on climate impacts on agriculture and on cities. IPCC author.
  • Joyashree Roy:[61] Professor of Economics, Jadavpur University in India who is an expert on the Economics of Climate Change and IPCC author, awarded the Prince Sultan Bin Aziz Prize.
  • Mary Scholes:[62] Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg who has served on several international global change committees. Studies plant physiology and biology, especially nutrient cycling, sustainable agroforestry, and soil biology. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa.
  • Miranda Schreurs:[63] Professor of Environmental and Climate Policy, Bavarian School of Public Policy,Technical University of Munich specialises in comparative environmental and climate governance. She has written on climate policy making in multiple world regions including Canada, China, the European Union, Germany, Japan, and the United States.
  • Sonia I. Seneviratne: is a Swiss geophysicist who works at the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science at ETH Zurich.
  • Sybil P. Seitzinger: Professor of Nutrient Biogeochemistry at the Rutgers University Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences and executive director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme. Her Rutgers research group focuses on the sources and transport of nutrients (N, C, P) in watersheds and airsheds and their effect on aquatic ecosystems.
  • Karen Seto: Professor of Geography and Urbanization Science at Yale University. She is a geographer, urban and land change scientist; Her research focuses on the human transformation of land and the links between urbanization, global change, and sustainability. She co-founded and co-chaired the Urbanization and Global Environmental Change Project (UGEC) of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) from 2004 to 2016. She was Coordinating Lead Author for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report and co-lead the urban mitigation chapter. She is a Coordinating Lead Author for the urban mitigation chapter for the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report. She is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences.
  • Joanne Simpson: (1923 – 2010) First woman to ever receive a Ph.D. in meteorology. She was graduated from the University of Chicago and taught and researched at numerous universities. She was a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Simpson contributed to many areas of the atmospheric sciences and helped develop the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM).
  • Julia Slingo: Meteorologist, climate scientist, visiting Professor at the University of Reading, and Chief Scientist at the British Met Office since 2009. Her specific interests include tropical climate variability and its influence on the global climate and climate modelling. Slingo was the first female Professor of Meteorology in the UK as well as, in 2008, the first woman President of the Royal Meteorological Society.
  • Amy Snover:[64] Director of the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group, University Director of the Northwest Climate Science Center and Assistant Dean for Applied Research in the University of Washington’s College of the Environment. Amy is a recognized leader for her work connecting decision-makers and stakeholders to the scientific data, tools, and guidance necessary for managing the climate risks facing the people, communities, and ecosystems across the Northwest of the United States. Amy was a 2015 White House Champion of Change for Climate Education and Literacy, a co-convening lead author for the Third US National Climate Assessment, and lead author of the groundbreaking 2007 guidebook, Preparing for Climate Change: A Guidebook for Local, Regional, and State Governments.
  • Susan Solomon: Ellen Swallow Richards Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry & Climate Science known for her work on atmospheric chemistry and ozone and for leading the IPCC 4th assessment report on climate science. Member US National Academy of Sciences. She won the Volvo Environment and Blue Planet prizes.
  • LuAnne Thompson:[65] Professor of Oceanography at the University of Washington known for her work in communicating climate science and drawing connections between climate change and environmental sustainability, health and socioeconomic inequities.
  • Isabella Velicogna:[66] Professor of Earth System Science at the University of California Irvine known for her work on time-variable space borne gravity to study the mass balance of ice sheets and changes in terrestrial water storage. IPCC. Thomson Reuters HCR. EGU Vening Meinesz Medal. Kavli fellow of NAS.
  • Diana Urge-Vorsatz:[67] Director, Center for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy (3CSEP) and Professor of Environmental Sciences and Policy, Central European University. She specializes in environmental and energy studies especially energy efficiency and buildings. IPCC author.
  • Carolina Vera:[68] Director of the Center for Atmosphere and Ocean Sciences (CIMA) and UMI/IFAECI, a joint institute with the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Argentina’s National Council of Sciences (CONICET) and CNRS (France). She is also Full Professor of the School of Exact and Natural Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires. IPCC special report on extremes author.
  • Coleen Vogel:[69] Independent Consultant and previously Professor of Sustainability at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. She chaired the International Scientific Committee of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Climate Change and is an IPCC author. Her research has focused on climate vulnerability and southern Africa.
  • Penny Whetton: Climatologist and an expert in regional climate change projections due to global warming their impacts. Her primary scientific focus has been Australia. IPCC author.
  • Kathy Willis: Ecologist who is the director of science at Kew Gardens, UK, and a professor at Oxford University who works on ecology, environmental history and biodiversity.
  • Julie Winkler:[70] Professor at Michigan State University and past president of the Association of American Geographers her work focuses on climate and its impacts, especially in the Great Lakes and Midwest of the United States.
  • Kirsten Zickfeld:[71] Associate Professor at Simon Fraser University, Canada, working on the effects of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols on climate on centennial to millennial timescales.

10. Women Climate Change Policy Makers and Activists

Thunberg on strike in 2018.
  • Franny Armstrong: British documentary film director known for films including The Age of Stupid, a reflection from 2055 about climate change. She founded the carbon reduction campaign 10:10 in 2009.
  • Gro Harlem Brundtland: Former prime minister of Norway and author of the Bruntland report on Sustainable Development who has served on countless international committees on the environment
  • Helen Clark: Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the 37th Prime Minister of New Zealand (1999-2008). Clark's government implemented several major economic initiatives including the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme.
  • Sheila Watt-Cloutier: Canadian Inuit activist who has focused on persistent organic pollutants and global warming, among other issues.
  • Christiana Figueres: Costa Rican diplomat who has served in negotiations over climate change instruments since 1995. She became the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010.
  • Fiona Godlee: Anglo-American doctor, editor and journalist. Founder member and board director of the Climate and Health Council. Executive committee for the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change.
  • Julia Marton-Lefevre: Hungarian environmentalist and academic who was Director General of IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, from 2007 to 2014 and formerly Rector of the UN University for Peace.
  • Jacqueline McGlade: Marine biologist and environmental informatics professor. Her research focuses on the spatial and nonlinear dynamics of ecosystems, climate change and scenario development. She was head of the European Environment Bureau.
  • Catherine McKenna: Canadian human rights and social justice lawyer and Minister of Environment and Climate Change in Justin Trudeau's cabinet.
  • Mary Robinson: Former president of Ireland and UN Commissioner on Human Rights who now serves as the UN special envoy on climate change
  • Marina Silva: Brazilian environmentalist, politician, Minister of Environment and former colleague of Chico Mendes. She ran in the 2010 and 2014 Brazilian elections.
  • Greta Thunberg: Swedish activist who began protesting outside the Swedish parliament about the need for immediate action to combat climate change, also credited with initiating the school strike for climate movement in 2018 and 2019. She spoke for the UN Climate Action Summit in New York in September 2019.


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  53. Linda Mortsch
  54. Suzanne Moser
  55. Isabelle Niang
  56. Andrea J. Nightingale
  57. Karen O'Brien
  58. Bette Otto-Bliesner
  59. Joyce Penner
  60. Terry Root
  61. Joyashree Roy
  62. Mary Scholes
  63. Miranda Schreurs
  64. Amy Snover
  65. LuAnne Thompson
  66. Isabella Velicogna
  67. Diana Urge-Vorsatz
  68. Carolina Vera
  69. Coleen Vogel
  70. Julie Winkler
  71. Kirsten Zickfeld
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