womenvironmentalismThere was a survey on Facebook the other day about whether people believed climate change was a serious problem. 84% said yes. The lowest scores were young men at 59%. Young women on the other hand were above the average. I dont think Facebook polls are representative, but this does support a view that’s been kicking around for some time that women are/will be pivotal in tackling climate change:

- The UKRC / EPC Climate Change Survey found 86% of Britsh women “extremely” or “somewhat” concerned about global warming

· According to the same survey British women are 9% more likely to engage in “environmentally conscious” activities such as using public transport or recycling, than men

- IPSOS/Mori poll in Nov 2006 found Women were more likely to do something to tackle climate change (44%), in comparison to men (39%)

In May the Whe Women’s Environmental Network and women’s institute published a Women’s manifesto on Climate Change published a manifesto here

it says:

“Women in the UK have a key role in tackling climate change as consumers, educators and ‘change agents’ in our homes, encouraging the adoption of lower carbon lifestyles and passing on green values to the next generation. We are also far more concerned about environmental issues than men. Unfortunately, our importance is not matched by our representation. Women are significantly under-represented in environmental decision-making in government, industry and the scientific community. We are also insufficiently empowered in taking action in our own homes to mitigate the effects of climate change. Globally, women are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to our different social roles and status. In the UK and other developed countries, increasing costs for energy, transport, healthcare, and nutrition are likely to affect women, including single mothers, more than men. In developing countries, women are already suffering disproportionately more as a consequence of climate change: 70% of the world’s poor, who are far more vulnerable to environmental damage, are women, 85% percent of people who die from climate-induced disasters are women.

They also conducted a survey which found:

“According to a climate change survey of over 500 women, conducted by WEN and NFWI, what women of the UK want most is:

• Much more action in tackling climate change; 97% of women do not think Government and industry are doing enough. Top priorities for action are to invest in more renewable energy (86%), encourage manufacturers todesign more environmentally friendly products (86%) and to set tougher carbon reduction targets (81%).

• More help and guidance to reduce our impact on the environment, especially more green products or carbon labelling of goods (85%), lower prices for environmentally friendly products (85%), and more government grants and incentives to reduce carbon emissions (82%).

• More women’s involvement in UK government (87%) and international (86%) policy making, to find solutions to climate change.

• Greater representation of women in industry boardrooms (79%) and scientific careers (78%) to address climate change issues from a women’s perspective, and as MPs (74%).

Our survey also found that 80% of women are very concerned about climate change as an important issue and 75% are apprehensive that government action to tackle climate change will not be taken soon enough. Women are also very concerned about the effects of climate change on future generations (85%), the poor (81%), and on plant, marine and animal life (81%), the impact of more flooding, drought and extreme weather (81%), water and food shortages (81%) and habitat destruction (80%).”

While it doesnt answer the political and practical demands I would think its only a matter of time before a major brand for whome women are the key audience takes a lead on this issue, looking at it from a women’s perspective. But what it makes me want to do is to run a campaign where women are advocates and talk their partners, sons and colleagues around on the issue. Being a boy this may not be my one to pioneer but I know women in this field who are up on all this and up for acting on it.

Posted by J Grant

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