Missing women might explain failure of UN climate change talks

Here! Here!

Under The Banyan


This giant spider has reminded me once again of who’s too often missing from the climate conversations we sorely need.

The spider straddles the main concourse of the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha, host of COP18 — the 2012 round of UN negotiations aimed at tackling climate change.

This is a massive irony. While the spider — called ‘Maman’ — is a monument to motherhood, the negotiators who passed beneath her during the two-week conference were largely men.

In fact, there has never been a conference of parties (COP) to the UN climate change convention at which even one-third of the negotiators were women. In recent years women were the heads of fewer than 15 per cent of the national delegations. This chart from GenderCC shows the disparity.


This shameful pattern is set to change. One of the few rays of light to shine out of the Doha conference…

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