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Women and Climate Change

UU-UNO Spring Seminar, 2011
Jan W. Dash, PhD
Director Climate Initiative, UU-UNO UN Committee on Sustainable Development NY (CoNGO) Visiting Research Scholar, Fordham U. Adjunct Professor, Courant Institute, NYU Head, Strategic Risk Research, Bloomberg LP
.

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Outline
! Climate

Change Basics

" Science " Impacts " Risk

Management

! Women

and Climate Change ! Conclusions

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Global Temperature Data There IS Global Warming
Data GISS/NASA. Last decade hottest in over 100 yrs

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Human Behavior Risk - Future

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Impacts - Progressively Severe
! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Water shortages (glaciers/snow packs melting worldwide), Crop failures (including the US), Fires (increasingly frequent huge wildfires), Droughts (during the summer), Disease (human and plant), Flooding (huge precipitation increases when it rains) Species extermination (polar bear just most visible), Extreme weather (destabilized Jet Stream), Sea level rise (glaciers into ocean, US Navy scenarios), Heat waves (over 100 F days become common), Acidified oceans (attacks base of food chain), Mass migrations (millions across US borders), Increased conflict (destabilizing wars - US Pentagon), Economic disruption (global financial/economic collapse)
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Disease Risk “Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century”
Lancet : "Managing the health effects of climate change"

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US National Security Risk

Climate change: threat to America’s national security
Pentagon, Navy, senior US military

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Food Shortage Risk
US crops - corn, soybeans, cotton can decline 80% if temp up enough ! International too. Women = farmers
!
Schlenker and Roberts, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sciences

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Contrarian disinformation risk
! Contrarian ! Contrarian
" Stop

/ denier pseudoscience
by fossil fuel, think tanks

" Supported

goals

climate legislation and regulation " Stop mitigation of global warming " Stop green energy, energy efficiency…

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International Negotiation Risk Climate Conferences

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Main negotiation issue Risk:
! !

Cumulative vs. Current Emissions
Developed Countries (US, EU …)
"

Responsible for most of existing CO2 Developing emissions will dominate in future China now #1 for today’s CO2 emissions Per-capita emissions lower than for developed

Developing Countries
" " "

!

Science => Already near limit ~ 400 ppm

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Millennium Development Goals
! MDGs
"

apply to poorest countries

All 192 countries (including US) signed

" " " " "

Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty, Hunger Goal 3: Empower women Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality Rate Goal 6: Combat malaria and other diseases Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

! Climate

Change = threat to MDGs

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Women: Positive Role helping to counter Climate Change
! ! !

Women accept science more than men Women want to act more than men Powerful Motivations:
" " " " "

Survival Water and Food for Children Peace
!

Vulnerability of Women and Children in War

Justice Intergenerational Equity = Grandchildren

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Increased U.S. Recognition of Essential Role of Women
• •

Promote participation of women all levels Secy. Clinton Intl. Fund - Women, Girls:
" "

Promote climate change solutions Example: Replace old cook stoves = bad for health, environment (black carbon)

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References
! Women
" IPCC

and children vulnerability

Report Volume II, Chapter 17

! UN

Economic Social Council Committee Sustainable Develop.

" Document

- Women and climate change, policies and strategies Statement: Copenhagen, Cancun, Durban Conferences
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! UN

" Climate

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UU-UNO Climate Portal
climate.uu-uno.org

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Wrap-Up
! Recent

global warming trend of climate change - Human caused.
" Impacts

will be increasingly severe " Mitigation - ameliorate impacts = justice / intergenerational equity / survival

! Women,

Children most vulnerable ! Women have a central role to play

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Bottom Line
! We

all have pictures of children. We want to say to them: We did our best ! We can all help make a real difference ! We CAN still mitigate global warming!
We need to stay optimistic! " We need to ACT! " YOU can help!
"

! Thank

you
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You can help
Children and Grandchildren will thank you

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