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Monday, June 20, 2022


Katherine Quaid, WECAN International,

Women’s Group Highlights Gender Equity as a Significant Driver of CO2 Emissions Reduction During Forum on IPCC Climate Modeling

June 20, 2022 — In a groundbreaking presentation, a team from The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), in affiliation with the UC Davis ModLab, shared the latest research on how gender equity regarding women's leadership, agency, and political and social participation throughout society reduces CO2 emissions during the 2022 Scenarios Forum.

This presentation advocates for the inclusion of gender equity as a driver in future climate data for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), drawing upon several studies that confirm that improved gender equity throughout society reduces emissions. This includes 2019 research that shows that a 1-point increase in a country’s score on the Women’s Political Empowerment Index (WPEI) results in an average 11.51% drop in that country’s emissions, even when controlling for other factors.

Launched in 2019, the Scenarios Forum is a conference bringing together climate scientists, social scientists, and energy systems modelers engaged in developing the Shared Socio-Economic Pathways (SSPs), which are a set of predictive climate models and data that inform reports by the IPCC. Global policymakers and decision-makers rely upon the IPCC reports to make data-informed decisions regarding climate policies and plans.

The presentation offered on June 20, by Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director, outlined recent research and studies that have found that women’s leadership reduces CO2 emissions. While the talk highlighted a heterogenous dynamic panel analysis published in Sustainable Development in 2019, she also included additional studies further demonstrating gender equity as a driver of change.

“In the past, gender has only been included regarding climate impacts in the scenarios. Clearly, from these studies, gender needs to be included in future scenarios as a driver,” Lake noted in the presentation. “Treating gender as a driver would provide policymakers with further understanding of why efforts to improve gender diversity are essential for keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

The presentation contributes to the process of developing the scenarios, which are part of the C-MIP, a collaborative, open-source framework designed to improve knowledge of climate change and its impacts. If gender were to be included in the scenarios, it would inform and impact the next cycle of IPCC reporting (AR7). Watch the full presentation here.

“Gender equity and women’s leadership can no longer be an afterthought when drafting climate policy,” Lake commented after the presentation. “For decades climate justice movements have been showing how women’s leadership is necessary for climate solutions. Improving predictive models by including gender equity as a driver of change is necessary if we want to create and implement effective solutions to the climate crisis.”

The presentation also highlighted ‘Women Speak: Stories, Case Studies And Solutions From The Frontlines Of Climate Change’, a media archive compiled by WECAN highlighting stories of women at the forefront of solutions and advocacy to respond to the climate crisis.

Osprey Orielle Lake was the lead author of this presentation. Co-authors included Katherine Quaid, WECAN Communications Coordinator; Samara Hayley Steele, PhD Candidate in the Science and Technology Studies DE at UC Davis; Alisha Chan, undergraduate researcher at UC Davis.

For further information, or to speak with Osprey Orielle Lake or the co-authors, please contact



The Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International - @WECAN_INTL


The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International is a 501(c)3 and solutions-based organization established to engage women worldwide in policy advocacy, on-the-ground projects, trainings, and movement building for global climate justice.

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