Countries With More Women Leaders Have Stronger Climate Policies

An event celebrating women at the 2016 UN climate change conference 
Photo: UN Climate via Yale Climate Connections

A new study published in the journal Science Direct looked at the legislatures of 91 countries and compared the percentage of seats held by women with the climate policies of each country.  Their conclusion?  The countries with the most women in their parliaments had tougher climate and environment policies which resulted in lower carbon emissions.   The authors looked at whether any other factors could explain the link – such as the country’s GDP, education level, and overall political orientation – and none of these other factors had the same level of correlation.

Why This Matters:  Well, to state the obvious, if we want to enact more stringent climate laws so that we can tackle the climate crisis, we need to elect more women to Congress and state and local legislative bodies.  ‘Nuf said.

When Women Rule

Apparently the gender of political leaders and its correlation to various policy outcomes has been studied in the past. Studies have also shown that higher female representation in politics is correlated with higher spending on health care, education, and foreign aid, as well as higher rates of domestic economic growth. The study authors found, with respect to climate change, that gender differences in attitudes toward climate change suggested that women are more aware of climate change than men and thus tend to push for climate action.

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