The mission of climate activists is crucial: to raise awareness about the impact of pollution in their own countries.
The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou
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Human activities have already increased the earth's temperature by one degree in the last century alone, and by 2050, climate change could dramatically damage the standard of living of the world's population.
We are all in trouble with global warming, but underserved communities, especially women, suffer the most. According to the UN, women are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, mainly in the poorest regions of the world.
The Woman Post made a selection of four prominent activists on this issue.
The Costa Rican diplomat is a former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Figueres has participated in the design of the main instruments to face climate change and is one of the main drivers of the active participation of Latin America in the Convention. She is currently the coordinator of Mission 2020, a global campaign that seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and promote a more sustainable economy.
One of the reasons Marshall Island President Hilda Heine is fighting the climate crisis is because this problem threatens the very existence of her country. The islands could become uninhabitable if the sea level continues to rise. The climate crisis has been so alarming that already a third of the population of the Marshall Islands have chosen to abandon their lands. During the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit, President Heine reiterated plans for the Marshall Islands to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Greta Thunberg encouraged a youth-led global protest movement after standing in front of the Swedish Parliament. The 17-year-old activist's speeches have raised the concern of thousands of young people around the world to demand a future without the threat of global warming. She has boldly demanded that her country's political leaders pay greater attention to the risks of climate change. The Swedish teenager's attention allowed her to share her ideas on stage at TEDx Stockholm on November 24 of 2018. Both the criticism and the praise do not seem to distract Greta Thunberg from her goal.
Wang's project is to turn plastic pollution that is not recyclable today into valuable chemicals. According to this inventor, globally, only 9% of all plastics that people produce each year are recycled. The remaining 91% end up in incinerators, landfills or become ocean pollution. She has developed a chemical approach that uses an innovative process to break down plastics and completely transform molecules into valuable chemicals. During an interview with the Rolex Business Awards, Wang said: "I believe that we can take up this challenge and that we can finally conquer it."
We are at a time in history where we can have such an enormous impact on this specific issue and shape the future. Like these four activists, we can take the lead when it comes to climate change. Strong policies with a gender perspective are essential. It is up to us ordinary citizens to continue to demand that our political leaders address climate change: the most challenging problem humanity has ever faced.