We have to create a moral force of persuasion through connection, amplification, discussion, and funding - and always from the bottom up.Pat MitchellCo-founder, Connected Women Leaders
That’s one of the things that’s helped with my climate justice work: strong, diverse networks. It’s the strong bond that Pat, Ronda, and Hafsat have created. There was such enthusiasm for a hands-on approach at the convenings.
At Bellagio, I was very passionate about delivering the message of climate justice because I felt that the CWL is the group to make things happen – due to their inter-connectedness and the wide-ranging influence they have with many international women leaders. They had an influence on my own thinking. I was talking about a “moonshot mentality”, but I got pushback because space exploration – Kennedy, the Russians, Sputnik, etc. – was and continues to be fraught with competition and machismo. I had to go back to the drawing board and come up with something more feminist, more akin to collaboration. The sheer intellectual diversity of this group, and the process of talking with them, modified my thinking.
- First, let’s make the climate crisis personal in our own lives. Let’s each own the problem. That means doing what we weren’t previously doing, like recycling more efficiently, using different transport, and even adapting our diet. We all need to change our behavior to meet this crisis. There are lots of apps now to calculate your carbon footprint.
- Secondly, get angry about those who aren’t doing enough. That’s governments, but it’s also the fossil fuel lobbies and the financial sector. It even includes towns and cities that haven’t planned well.
- Thirdly, and most importantly, we have to imagine the world that we need to be hurrying towards. With a cleaner, healthier world, cities will be wonderful places to live in. They will have farms and gardens and the air will be wonderful; meanwhile, the rural countryside will be rewilding. This will mean returning to a proper connection with nature, which indigenous peoples have been telling us is so important.
We have to create a moral force of persuasion through connection, amplification, discussion, and funding, and always from the bottom up.Mary RobinsonCouncil, Women World Leaders
To solve the climate crisis and climate injustice, we have to work together, without hierarchy and without ego. And without all the things that promote macho approaches to the climate issue, like particular technological approaches that aim to reinvent the world in a way that might help the rich in the short term, but could be devastating to the poorer parts of the world. We must always be aware that the most important thing is to ensure we have a safe future for the next generations.
Our objective is to create moral pressure on those who are resisting change – that means governments and investors who are locked into fossil fuels. These things are detrimental. They’re destroying us. We have to create a moral force of persuasion through connection, amplification, discussion, and funding, and always from the bottom up.
We’d like to thank Mary Robinson and CWL for their continued contribution to the network. To find out more about their work, read the Connected Women Leaders at Bellagio blog, or visit the CWL website.
For more information on Mary Robinson’s climate work, explore the archive of the Mary Robinson – Climate Justice Foundation, which ran from 2010-2019.
You can also read more about the CWL founders Pat Mitchell, Hafsat Abiola, and Ronda Carnegie.
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