Women4Climate: an initiative to support, inspire and empower the next generation of women leaders.

An editorial written by Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, C40 Chair.

In March 2017, C40 Cities, a network that connects 96 of the world’s greatest cities to take bold climate action and leading the way towards a healthier and more sustainable future gather in New York City for the first Women4Climate Conference. That event saw the launch of the Women4Climate initiative to support, inspire and empower the next generation of women leaders.

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As dedicated as I was to this movement then, its profound importance and relevance has only become more obvious. From the courageous women around the world who are making their voices heard through the #MeToo movement, to the unprecedented number of women now running for and winning public office around the world, powerful women are already shaping the future.

In this political moment, centering women in our discussions of climate action is absolutely essential. Women have and will continue to be innovative, resilient and willing to act. Always. Strengthened by growing recognition of this work, we are now, undeniably, an unstoppable movement.

Today, the C40 family includes 22 women mayors. Four years ago, this number was five times smaller. I am beyond delighted to welcome the new women mayors in our network: their leadership will make the Women4Climate initiative even stronger and highlight the critical role played by women leaders in delivering climate action within the world’s great cities.Yet the real future of our movement lies in the inspiring young women participating in the Women4Climate mentorship programme. The programme has already been launched in Mexico City, Montréal, Quito, Tel Aviv, London and in Paris for a second edition and soon these women will be joined by many more as C40 cities around the world launch their own mentorship schemes.

Additionally, on September 12th, at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, to support the innovation community in driving concrete solutions with a measurable impact in cities C40 and Autodesk have launched the Women4Climate Tech Challenge, a global contest for innovative tech solutions from women focused on climate change.

C40 will provide to the winners innovators and entrepreneurs with support custom-designed for each solution, depending on the project’s level of maturity and the needs: acceleration, incubation, residence within the city, co-design of experimentations with citizens and users.

As per today the City of Tel Aviv-Yafo together with the Urban Innovation Center “The Platform” and the City of Paris with the urban innovation agency “Paris & Co.” have committed to implement the vision of the winners of the Tech Challenge.

For those of you who may be wondering what common feature is shared by women led innovation and climate change, this is very easy. Just as with climate change, with gender equity and including women in vital decision-making processes, we are no longer at the stage of observation and acknowledgement that there is an urgency to act.

We’re beyond this stage: we’re not looking for additional evidence: we fully realize that now there is an urgent need for solutions that can activate radical cultural and economic shifts in our lives and with positive impacts for the planet. This global movement of determined and visionary young women offers great hope for a better, more sustainable future for us all. When we join our voices together, we are unstoppable. Join us and we can change the world.

 

Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, C40 Chair

Anne Hidalgo 

To learn more about Women4Climate, click here. The Women4Climate initiative is generously supported by L’ORÉAL, its founding partner.

About C40 Cities: C40 Cities connects 96 of the world’s greatest cities to take bold climate action, leading the way towards a healthier and more sustainable future. Representing 700+ million citizens and one quarter of the global economy, mayors of the C40 cities are committed to delivering on the most ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement at the local level, as well as to cleaning the air we breathe. The current chair of C40 is Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo; and three-term Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg serves as President of the Board. C40’s work is made possible by our three strategic funders: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), and Realdania.