FEMINIST AGENDA FOR A 

GREEN NEW DEAL

Coalition members for the Feminist Green New Deal spoke to legislators about the Feminist Principles for a Green New Deal in Washington D.C. Photo via WECAN International/Katherine Quaid

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In early 2019, WECAN International co-founded a coalition of women’s rights and climate justice organizations in recognition that feminist analysis must be part of our discourse on a Green New Deal. In a conversation focused on envisioning a healthy planet and communities, these groups knew that gender equality was-and is-key. A feminist intervention was necessary. The Feminist Agenda for a Green New Deal, thus, was borne from collective generation. As a collective, we welcome the opportunity presented by the Green New Deal – and by the efforts of advocates and progressive policymakers – to secure rights-based policies and programs recognizing the global implications of US climate action and inaction. 

As we continue our work through the COVID-19 global pandemic, WECAN is advocating for a feminist response that aims to aims to spotlight the interconnected relationship between economic marginalization and environmental exploitation, please read a summary of our response here

 

Please see the Feminist Green New Deal Coalition website here.

 

To truly address the root causes, as well as the scope and scale of the climate crisis, the Green New Deal must be cross-cutting in its approach, steadfast in feminist principles, and strive to combat historical oppressions. It must advance a transformative feminist agenda that centers the leadership of women, and acknowledges and addresses the generational impacts of colonization and anti-Black racism. It must end oppression against and be led and articulated by frontline, impacted communities – especially women of color, Black women, Indigenous women, people with disabilities, LGBTQIAP+ people, people from the Global South, migrant and refugee communities, and youth.

 

The climate crisis has emerged from interlocking systems of capitalism, resource extraction, labor exploitation, the commodification of nature, settler colonialism, imperialism, and militarism. It has roots in the exploitation of enslaved people, whose labor created wealth in the Global North, and of the continuing systemic racism that deepens and institutionalizes global inequity. 

 

To confront this crisis, we need coherence across policy sectors, from trade to military spending to development, to confront these interconnections. We must recommit to multilateralism and a democratic rule of law to build a policy architecture that can stabilize the planet and secure a just transition to post-exploitative economies. 

 

We believe in a Green New Deal guided by principles of justice and accountability that reflect: 

 

  • the urgent need for a just transition of all US economic, environmental, and political systems through measures that: 

  • redress economic disparity and provide accountability for the global impacts of US policy; 

  • shift from the privatization and commodification of resources toward regenerative, sustainable, cooperative, and collective models; and

  • divest from the extractive and military-industrial complex and reinvest in social and public goods and the promotion of peace and justice; 

  • support for mitigation, adaptation efforts, solutions, and leadership of frontline communities within the US and globally, including commitments to respect and uphold Indigenous rights, to work to end environmental racism, and to confront the criminalization of environmental defenders; and

  • the prioritization of women’s leadership, gender justice, and human rights in policy-making and public discourse, including through the disruption of patriarchal and male-dominated power structures, informed by the voices of feminist activists and movements.

 

The 10 key principles call for advancing reproductive justice, the creation of regenerative economies centered on feminist analysis and understanding of the care economy, a shift from exploitative and unsustainable production patterns and a rejection of false solutions to the climate crisis, and more. To read all the feminist principles and to endorse the Feminist Agenda for a Green New Deal, please click the button below.

Feminist Green New Deal Online Dialogues

During Earth Week, the Feminist Green New Deal Coalition hosted two online discussions with coalition leaders to discuss the intersection of crises we're experiencing within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the vision & organizing of recovery through feminist, care-centered, regenerative solutions and transformation.

More information and recordings for each dialogue are down below.

Speakers included Osprey Orielle Lake, Women's Earth and Climate Action Network; Bridget Burns, Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO); Lyric Thompson, International Center for Research on Women; Jessica Olson, Sierra Club; Katherine Quaid, Confederated Tribes of Umatilla, Women's Earth and Climate Action Network; Diana Duarte, MADRE; Maria Luisa Mendonça, Network for Social Justice and Human Rights (Brazil); Sunyoung Yang, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance; and Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, 350.org

Launch of the Feminist Green New Deal

In September 2019, The Feminist Agenda for a Green New Deal was formally launched by a coalition of climate justice and women’s rights activists including WECAN In response to the UN Climate Summit in New York City. Read the full press release here.

The coalition includes the Sierra Club, the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), the NAACP, MADRE, the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance among others. As interest in the U.S. Green New Deal Resolution grows all over the country, the coalition’s campaign aims to ensure that gender and global justice, climate justice, and human and Indigenous rights are at the core of climate programs and policies. 

 

Watch a livestream of the launch event on Facebook!

Sunyoung Yang, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (left) shares the importance of an international lens for the Green New Deal during the launch of the Feminist Agenda for the Green New Deal. Photo via WEDO

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Katherine Quaid, Communications Coordinator for WECAN International discussed the need for Indigenous Rights and sovereignty within the context of a Green New Deal. Photo via WEDO

Speakers included Osprey Orielle Lake, Women's Earth and Climate Action Network; Bridget Burns, Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO); Lyric Thompson, International Center for Research on Women; Jessica Olson, Sierra Club; Katherine Quaid, Confederated Tribes of Umatilla, Women's Earth and Climate Action Network; Diana Duarte, MADRE; Maria Luisa Mendonça, Network for Social Justice and Human Rights (Brazil); Sunyoung Yang, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance; and Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, 350.org

After the launch in New York, The FemGND made its way to Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. where climate justice and women’s rights activists, alongside Representative Barbara Lee (CA-13), shared the importance of centering gender and global justice, and human rights in Green New Deal programs and policies. WATCH the full Livestream here.

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Representative Barbara Lee speaking to the importance of a Feminist Green New Deal during a Congressional Hearing in the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C. Photo via WECAN International/Katherine Quaid

Coalition members, including WECAN International, MADRE, WEDO, NAACP, GINEW, Sierra Club, and Network for Social Justice and Human Rights - Brazil, also met with policymakers to share the 10 key principles of the Feminist Agenda for a Green New Deal, discussing ways for the Feminist Green New Deal to influence policies and programs moving forward. Read the full press release here: https://bit.ly/2mjmFfT

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WECAN Executive Director, Osprey Orielle Lake speaks with Representative Deb Haaland and her D.C. staff about the principles of the Feminist Green New Deal in Washington D.C. Photo via WECAN International/Katherine Quaid

The Feminist Green New Deal at COP25

At the UNFCC COP25 in Madrid, Spain, FemGND coalition members brought the Feminist Agenda for a Green New Deal to the international stage to discuss further how the principles can be used and implemented at the local, national, and international level across the world. 

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“When frontline women lead, we win. There are many examples of campaigns where feminist principles of organizing around systemic change are the key to the success. To advance true systems change that we need in the face of climate change the Green New Deal must be rooted in feminist principles and practices.”
Jacqui Patterson
Director of the NAACP
Environmental and Climate Justice Program

During a COP25 press conference on December 10,  a broad coalition of activists and academics presented key principles for a Feminist Agenda for the Green New Deal guided by justice and accountability, centered on frontline communities, and that reflects feminist values and upholds human rights.  

 

The proposed Green New Deal has sparked an important, overdue national and international conversation around the urgent work needed to confront the global climate crisis. To truly address the root causes, as well as the scope and scale of the climate crisis, the Green New Deal must be cross-cutting in its approach, steadfast in feminist principles, and strive to combat historical oppressions. It must advance a transformative feminist agenda that centers the leadership of women, and acknowledges and addresses the generational impacts of colonization and anti-Black racism. It must end oppression against and be led and articulated by frontline, impacted communities – especially women of color, Black women, Indigenous women, people with disabilities, LGBTQIAP+ people, people from the Global South, migrant and refugee communities, and youth.

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Bridget Burns (left), Dr. Frances B Roberts-Gregory (center left), Katherine Quaid (center), Jacqui Patterson (center right), and Osprey Orielle Lake (right) at the press conference “Toward a Feminist Green New Deal” on December 10. Photo via Jessica Olson

WATCH and SHARE the full press conference here: https://unfccc-cop25.streamworld.de/webcast/towards-a-feminist-green-new-deal

 

Speakers included, Jacqui Patterson, Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program; Dr. Frances B Roberts-Gregory, PhD candidate at the University of California Berkeley; and Bridget Burns, Director of WEDO; Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director; and Katherine Quaid, WECAN Communications Coordinator.

 

In addition to the press conference, Katherine Quaid and Osprey Orielle Lake alongside other members of the Feminist Green New Deal coalition, spoke further to the principles of the Feminist Green New Deal during a Women and Gender Constituency morning caucus meeting. The caucus discussed how the Feminist Green New Deal needs to be a global platform as there cannot be a USA poilcy without accountabilty and responsibility to the international community.

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Katherine Quaid shares the importance of centering Indigenous leadership in the Green New Deal with the Women and Gender Constituency during a morning caucus meeting. Photo via Annabell Avril/WECF

“I am not interested in a Green New Deal or any other national or international climate policy unless it is actively centering Indigenous leadership and confronting the systems of oppression that have impacted indigenous communities for centuries and led to our current climate crisis.”
Katherine Quaid
WECAN Communications Coordinator,
COP25 Delegate