This is a time for collaboration at a global level as never before required... We are coming together to embrace a new way of living with each other and the Earth... We can and must join together as women to take action with common but differentiated responsibilities for achieving sustainability... We must act now for ourselves, for future generations, for all living things on Mother Earth.
International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit: September 20, 2013
Women of the World Call for Urgent Action on Climate Change & Sustainability Solutions
We are the mothers and the grandmothers, sisters and daughters, nieces and aunts, who stand together to care for all generations across our professions, affiliations and national identities.
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We are teachers and scientists, farmers and fishers, healers and helpers, workers and business peoples, writers and artists, decision-makers and activists, leaders and thinkers. We work in the halls of power, the halls of faith and the halls of our homes.
We are gathering to raise our voices to advocate for an Earth-respecting cultural narrative, one of “restore, respect, replenish” and to replace the narrative of “domination, depletion and destruction” of nature.
We are committed to a transition from a future of peril to a future of promise, to rally the women around the world to join together in action at all levels until the climate crisis is solved.
Climate change threatens life as we know it on our one and only home planet. Our children, our grandchildren and all future generations are in danger. Natural systems upon which all living things depend are in jeopardy.
The world’s governments have committed to avoiding a global temperature rise of 2.0 C degrees. But emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GhGs) are setting us on a course toward a likely 4.0 C (7.2 degrees F) temperature rise. Scientists repeatedly warn this will cause unprecedented, large-scale disruptions of human and natural systems, food and water insecurity, and untold loss of life.
We are experiencing more frequent, extreme weather events, droughts, floods and displacement of millions around the world.
International commitments and national responses of governments have not been equivalent to the escalating urgency and local communities are bearing the brunt.
Humanity is in a crisis - a dangerous, carbon fueled, urgent climate crisis. This crisis is not only a scientific reality, but also demands the moral imperative to act. Future generations depend upon our capacity to solve climate change before it is too late.
The time is now to usher in a sustainable future.
Among the most severely vulnerable to climate change are women, Indigenous Peoples, and those who live in extreme poverty. Climate disruption, including disasters and their enduring effects, is jeopardizing livelihoods and well-being around the world.
Unsustainable consumption and production reverses development gains in the global North and the global South: Women and men of industrialized nations have a responsibility to educate themselves, examine their worldviews, commit to action, and lead by example.
No one person, organization, community, province, region, or nation is capable of solving the challenge of climate change alone. This is a time for collaboration at a global level as never before required.
We are coming together to demand a just and necessary transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, to reduce consumption by our families and communities and to actively embrace a high quality-low footprint lifestyle.
We are coming together to embrace a new way of living with each other and the Earth.
We have a choice: between a path of continued peril and a path towards climate justice and a safe and clean energy future. We can and must join together as women to take action with common but differentiated responsibilities for achieving sustainability.
We must act now for ourselves, for future generations, for all living things on Mother Earth.
We are gathering from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
We are gathering from diverse nationalities, faiths, families and professions.
We are gathering in defense of our children, grandchildren, and the generations beyond.
We are gathering in defense of the animals, plants and natural systems that are under siege.
We are gathering and uniting in solidarity to grow the global women’s movement for climate action and sustainable solutions.
We are gathering to put the world on notice that women will take action at all levels to avert the trajectory of a 4 degrees C (7.2 degrees F) rise in global temperatures.
We are gathering to ensure that the sovereignty of communities to design and determine their own destinies into a thriving future is respected.
We are gathering to take action and chart a new course.
The science is clear. There is no more debate. The time for action is NOW.
We will answer humanity’s increased vulnerability with our increased commitment.
We know that while women are among the most negatively impacted by climate disruption, we are also key to creating climate solutions.
We stand together to accelerate a Global Women’s Climate Action Movement.
We, the undersigned, call on ourselves, our communities, and our governments to:
Cancel plans for future carbon developments and deforestation and bring atmospheric CO2 concentrations back below 350 ppm;
Divest from dangerous and dirty fossil fuel developments – coal fired power plants, oil shale fracking, deep-water oil drilling and Tar Sands and rapidly phase out fossil fuel subsidies;
Put a price on carbon and implement carbon-fees and Financial Transaction Taxes;
Call for urgent action prior to 2020, in order to accelerate the phase-out of greenhouse gas pollution and to close the gap between the science and national pledges; action is needed at all levels, from the grassroots to the United Nations;
Negotiate and ratify a binding, international climate treaty of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to reduce carbon emissions;
Prioritize adaptation funding to build community resilience for those most for affected by climate change in existing climate funds under the UNFCCC;
Increase available funding for adaptation and ensure that community-based groups, including women’s groups, have direct access to those adaptation funds;
Invest in an energy revolution with massive and swift expansion of conservation, energy efficiency, and safe energy by
- implementing radically increased efficiency standards and
- generating 100% of all new electricity from renewables
- incentivizing conservation and reduction of consumption, especially in the Global North;
Recognize that the transition to renewable energy does not justify or require a massive increase in mega hydro dams, biofuels and major monoculture biomass plantations that cause displacement, food insecurity, human rights abuses and deforestation;
Prioritize natural forest protection and increase funding for natural reforestation;
Reject Greenhouse Gas emissions reductions schemes that come from high-risk technologies which create irreversible damage to human and planetary health including tar sands, shale gas, nuclear energy, and geo-engineering;
Embrace and implement common but differentiated responsibilities to solve the climate crisis between the global North and global South;
Implement new economic indicators and structures that encourage sustainability, Buen Vivir (living well), and abandon models for limitless economic growth;
Recognize that the planet’s freshwater heritage is under threat and that abuse, over-extraction and displacement of water is a major cause of climate chaos. Essential to the recovery of climate stability is a strong plan to conserve, protect and restore the world’s watersheds and rebuild the health of aquatic ecosystems;
Take action to protect one of our essential life support systems – the world’s wild oceans – as a start, protect 20% of the world’s oceans by 2020 and 40% by 2040 in marine preserves and sanctuaries;
Fulfill existing international agreements on women’s equality and climate change by
- ensuring implementation of gender-responsive climate change policy and programs
- ensuring all climate financial mechanisms embrace the internationally agreed principles on gender equality, non-discrimination, human rights and women’s empowerment
- recognizing that gender-sensitive climate policy benefits men, women, children and the planet;
Respect and learn from the Traditional Ecological Knowledge, wisdom and experience of the world’s Indigenous Peoples;
Respect and implement the Rights of Women, the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Rights of Nature and the Rights of Future Generations;
Take individual action on a daily basis to avert climate chaos and to implement solutions at all levels.
This is the clarion call to the women and men of the world.
Please join us by sharing this Declaration and by taking urgent action for climate change and sustainability solutions.
This Declaration was ratified by Delegates to the International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit, September 20-23, 2013, New York, USA
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About the Authors
This declaration reprinted from the website of the International Women's Earth and Climate Initiative. The International Women’s Earth and Climate Initiative is a solutions-based, multi-faceted effort established to engage women worldwide to take action as powerful stakeholders in climate change and sustainability solutions. It is a project of Women's Earth and Climate Caucus and its partner eraGlobal Alliance.
The International Women's Earth & Climate Summit took place on September 20 – 23, 2013 in New York. The Summit brought together 100 global women leaders including grassroots activists, economists, scientists, businesswomen, Indigenous leaders, policy-makers, faith leaders, culture shapers for 3.5 days to help further a women’s climate action agenda. The IWECI Summit was not a one-time event but rather the beginning of long-term campaigns and projects to embrace climate solutions and build resilient communities. We plan to work in alliance with many other organizations and projects that are already underway as well as create new projects and campaigns when and where appropriate.
From promoting local and ecological food and energy models to advocating for a rights based approach to sustainability, IWECI is dedicated to a future where communities thrive and women are empowered. In our work, we recognize common but differentiated responsibilities for solving the crisis of global climate change. We intend to build upon models of other movements that were successful in changing the course of history. Most importantly, we need to build this movement together with you! PLEDGE YOUR COMMITMENT BY SIGNING THE DECLARATION STATEMENT at the bottom of the IWECI page (click link to access site)