Earth Day Network (EDN) and ICLEI will launch a campaign that uses research, leadership workshops, media, and viral marketing campaigns to harness the unique strengths of women to jumpstart political, financial and consumer action on climate change. A market analysis will be commissioned to study how women across a range of socio-economic strata make consumer and investor decisions, and will then identify strategies, messages, and messengers to influence and change that behavior.
The campaign will launch with a global brainstorming workshop at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali in December 2007. The purpose of this event will be to convene and solicit recommendations from governmental, intergovernmental and NGO representatives on the policy platform, communications strategies and the organizational and individual networking opportunities for the campaign. The project partners will leverage this opportunity to raise the awareness of global media about the profound and disproportionate impacts of climate change on women.
This event will be followed by a bi-coastal campaign launch in the U.S. to develop the terms of reference for the market analysis, as well as the infrastructure for the campaign and fundraising. This process will also help determine how we will coordinate and cooperate with existing women's networks and organizations. An international conference in the fall of 2008 will create a roadmap for a multi-year campaign to tap the power of women to influence corporate behavior, government policy, investment, and family buying behavior.
The project will also raise the profile of the profoundly significant impacts of climate change on women and identify and promote opportunities for addressing poverty and development through solutions to climate change. Notable women investors, philanthropists, and media and political experts have already joined EDN and ICLEI to develop the strategies and objectives of the campaign.
The Women and Climate Campaign was created because of the power of women as consumers, investors, and philanthropists is not being harnessed to fight climate change. Moreover, we recognized that women will suffer disproportionately from the impacts of climate change but are reluctant to address the problem itself.
Women are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change because they represent the majority of the world's poor. They disproportionately lack access to clean water, nutrition and health care, and are heavily engaged in economic activities such as fishing, farming and tending livestock that are more dependent on those natural resources that will be affected by climate change.
At the same time, women are increasingly finding themselves in a position to influence, design and promote immediate solutions to climate change. Whether as decision-makers for household purchases and family lifestyles, heads of corporations investing in or producing climate friendly products and services, political and religious leaders, voters, or teachers, women can now hold the key to changing the course on climate change. The following statistics highlight the growing economic power of this constituency:
- Women are the primary consumer decision maker in 85 percent of all households.
- Women currently control over 62 percent of personal wealth in the United States, and are expected to acquire 94 percent of the growth in U.S. private wealth between now and 2010.
- Women make 69 percent of all household health care decision.
- Women make 75 percent of the decisions about new homes.
- Women make 81percent of the decisions about groceries.
Our work for this campaign will build on Earth Day Network's experience with educating and mobilizing individuals, including women, around environmental issues, and leverage ICLEI's experience engaging and mobilizing local government entities.