IISD-‘Two Degrees of Change’ Initiative Addresses Women’s Role in Climate Action




1 April 2016: A new initiative aimed at accelerating progress on climate action and gender equality by forming a more joined-up approach and creating a “compounding effect” has been launched. The 'Two Degrees of Change' initiative is led by Helena Morrissey, CEO, Newton Investment Management (a global investment management firm), and Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary. It will help achieve Sustainable Development Goal 13 (SDG 13) on taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, and SDG 5 on achieving gender equality.



During the conference launching the initiative, business leaders, investors and policymakers came together to discuss respective efforts on climate change and gender equality. The event, which convened on 11 April 2016 in London, UK, aimed to forge a collaborative approach to accelerate progress in both areas, and cautioned that the investment industry cannot sit idly by. During the conference, Figueres reiterated the “clear parallel” between progress on gender equality and on climate change over the last six years. She noted evidence suggests that a greater presence of women in the boardroom and in senior leadership roles can help increase the corporate focus on climate change, and emphasized that the UNFCCC has recognized the important role of women in addressing climate change through its 'Momentum for Change: Women for Results' initiative. The 'Two Degrees of Change' initiative aims to encourage women to raise climate issues with their company boards and to call on companies and investors to act on climate change.



The launch conference also addressed the role the investment industry can play regarding the financial implications of climate change, including detailing steps investors can take to help protect clients and society from climate-related financial risks. A keynote address focused on how diversity and clean energy investment can drive productivity for future economies, while a panel discussion looked at different perspectives of the impact of climate change on investments. An action plan is being developed that will focus on: women, investors and millennials as agents for change.


 Picture: Marie Claude Simard

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