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Climate Action


This interview is the first in our ongoing series The Gender Imperative: Re-imagining Climate Action, in which the Women4Climate Daring Circle calls upon expert members of our global Women’s Forum community to provide their perspectives on the urgent need to promote women’s leadership on climate change, particularly in the present moment.

  • What do you think the role of women is in leading action against climate change ? 

Women are 14 times more likely to die from a climate disaster, according to a UN report. Given their position on the front line of the climate-change battle, women are uniquely situated to be agents of change, to help find ways to mitigate the causes of global warming and to adapt to its impacts on the ground. They stand out as key players in climate action.

  • What actions have your organization taken to address climate change ? Howdidgenderplaya part inthis?

Akuo produces renewable energy: it is our daily mission to address climate change, if not our DNA. Yet we wanted to be consistent and preach by example. Therefore, we embraced the Paris Climate Action charter in order to assess, monitor and be accountable of our progress to other parisian stakeholders. The overall goal is to reach 100% renewable electric consumption in Paris by 2050.

That said, the engineering field is man-oriented and we have decided to tackle this issue. The Akuo Foundation supports the non profit organization #Ellesbougent (#TheyMove), which campaigns for more gender diversity and we are also taking part to the women mentoring program set up with the network GWNET (Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition). 

  • What actions do we need to take to create a sustainable and equal world in the next 10 years ? 

Our main goal is to fight against global warming. Three actions are key: (1) sharply reduce our dependence on fossil fuel, (2) ensure sustainable consumption and production processes and (3) relocalize the energy and agricultural productions so as to empower local women and men, and therefore reduce the risk of social tensions due to dependencies. 

  • What is the role of female leadership in the nexus between the current COVID-19 crisis and climate change ? 

We are experiencing an unprecedented health crisis, which unites people all over the world in fear and the absolute necessity of containment. Nevertheless, we can also turn it as an ecological opportunity. This may be our last chance to address global warming and there is still time to do so. The crisis calls for a change in our consumer behavior. It is our collective responsibility to make this awareness a turning point in the evolution of our behavior and thereby of our societies. As the UN environment chief Inger Anderson said « Nature is sending us a message ». Today, across the world, from boardrooms and policy positions to local communities, from science to activism, there are women everywhere who are using their voices to take leadership and call for action on climate change

It would be an unforgivable mistake to tackle this unprecedented crisis simply by catching up and by reviving an outrageous consumption of fossil fuels. It would destroy all hope of progress in the 21st century. We must strive for a more equitable and just society. Just like us, sign this charter for Engagement and implement it !

Sign the Charter online on the following link

The Women & Climate Daring Circle is led by BNP Paribas, in collaboration with L’Oréal and Microsoft and in association with Engie. The Daring Circle draws on contributors and experts from the UNFCCC, C40, R20, We Mean Business, and the OECD. KPMG is supporting this Daring Circle as knowledge partners and HEC as academic partner.