Emma is één van de 400 vrouwen die een brief naar de Britse overheid heeft ondertekend in een omroep om meer vrouwen een rol te laten hebben in de UN’s COP26 summit die in november gehost zal worden door het land.
Four hundred women – including a host of female stars – have signed an open letter to the UK government calling for more women in “decision-making roles” at a global climate summit next year.
One woman has so far been appointed to the UK’s four-person leadership team for the UN’s COP26 summit, in Glasgow.
A letter, signed by actress Emma Watson and singer Ellie Goulding, says the gender balance was “incomprehensible”.
The government says it is committed to diversity.
The UK is hosting COP26, a UN climate change summit, in November 2021. It was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic but is seen as a crucial moment for global leaders to agree on further action to tackle climate change.
Conservative MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan has been appointed as the COP26 adaptation and resilience champion.
She will work alongside her all-male colleagues, COP26 president Alok Sharma, businessman Nigel Topping and former governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney.
But the letter, addressed to Mr Johnson and Mr Sharma, calls for the UK government to guarantee 50:50 gender balance at the leadership level.
It has also been signed by Hollywood actress Emma Thompson, MP Caroline Lucas, and Google’s Kate Brandt.
‘Not good enough’
A government spokesperson told the BBC that 45% of the senior management in the COP26 team is female, including the chief operating officer.
But campaigners, including those who signed the letter, say these roles are mainly operational and there are not enough women in “influencing” leadership positions.
Xiye Bastida said the lack of representation at high level talks is disheartening
At last year’s COP25 climate change conference, 21% of the 196 heads of delegation were women, according to the UN.
The youth climate movement has been led by prominent young women, including Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. But for Mexican indigenous activist, Xiye Bastida, the lack of representation at high level talks is disheartening.
“When you attend conferences, events, and panels, most of the people talking about climate are older white men,” she says.
“I’ve found myself in a position of feeling that I don’t know enough, or that my voice doesn’t matter enough, because there is a white man who dismisses my contributions. This is why I have signed this letter, because I believe that women bring heart and optimism into the fight for our lives.”
Fellow signatory, professor Lorraine Whitmarsh, director of the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST). said evidence shows “diversity in decision-making – including women and men – usually leads to better outcomes”.
“So a more gender balanced leadership of COP26 will not only be fairer, it will likely improve decision-making”, she says.