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Women at the forefront of the fight against climate change

Updated: Apr 16, 2021

Welcome back to Way to Zero Waste, this past March 8th, we celebrated International Women's Day. In today's post, we want to pay tribute to all those women who are or have been at the forefront of the fight for climate change.

We are surrounded by great references that allow us to open our eyes and undertake a new vision of our planet and get the necessary information to reflect on our habits and the ecological footprint we leave in this world.

We want to share with you the women who have inspired us the most and who have received the most recognition:


Celebrated English primatologist who revolutionized science through her innovative methods and fascinating discoveries about the behavior of wild chimpanzees in Gombe, Tanzania.

Her aim was to achieve the conservation and protection of wildlife while exposing the roots of human behavior and culture.

He has published more than 26 books, countless scientific articles, and more than 20 film and television productions. Her work has been fundamental not only to disseminate knowledge about chimpanzees and other species, but also to generate empathy and strengthen their protection and that of their ecosystems, making critical and approaching us to reflect on our own species and promote a more sustainable lifestyle in our societies. She has been considered one of the most influential women scientists of the 20th century.

We recommend, among others, the Netflix documentary dedicated to her "Jane", a biographical work of art where we travel with her to Gombe and show us her trajectory with chimpanzees.


Physician and professor at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University. She is noted for her work with HIV and on the health impact associated with climate change. She is president of the Florida State Medical Association and co-chair of Florida Clinicians for Climate Action, where she works to increase climate literacy and improve awareness of the impact of climate change on vulnerable populations.

Cheryl Holder asserts that excessively high temperatures, disease-carrying mosquitoes and climate-driven gentrification are a threat to people with pre-existing health conditions. She proposes effective ways for physicians to protect their patients from weather-related health difficulties. It also urges medical, political and other professionals to build a health care system that brings together economic and social justice.

"Poor and vulnerable people are already suffering from the effects of climate change."

We recommend his TED talk: The connection between climate change, health and poverty.


As many will already know, Greta is an environmental activist of Swedish origin who, at only 18 years old, has reached millions of people with her speech against climate change. She started camping every week in front of the Swedish parliament to ask the national authorities to sign a commitment to the environment. The success of the proposal was incredible and the young woman began a new path to a future full of media, news and press appearances around the world. These vows evolved and expanded globally, and are what we know as Fridays For Future.

His second big step was to craft a speech at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2018. At this event she delivered a well-known speech in front of the most powerful people around the world.

Greta has been nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize, for her fight against climate change and her Fridays For Future initiative.

This coming March 19, 2021 is the date chosen to take to the streets again to call for climate emergency around the world.


Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Dr. Rose M. Mutiso is a materials engineering specialist. She is the research director of the Energy for Growth Hub and co-founder and executive director of the Mawazo Institute, which supports the next generation of female academics and thought leaders in East Africa.

Rose advocates the need to prioritize Africa's needs with what remains of the global carbon budget. He explains that this is a way to foster growth and equitably achieve a smaller global carbon footprint.

Her dream is for more African women to influence decision-making and public discourse on critical issues such as energy poverty.

Around the world, there is incredible energy inequality. Billions of people simply do not have enough energy to build a better life.

We love her TED talk: How to bring affordable sustainable electricity to africa


Patricia Gualinga is one of the voices of the Kichwa people of Sarayaku, Ecuador. She defends the Ecuadorian Amazon, indigenous human rights and is the leader of Foreign Relations of the Kichwa People. She has been fighting for more than twenty years against extractivist policies that destroy this region of the world.

Her leadership has contributed to the struggle of the Kichwa People of Sarayaku for the protection of the Living Forest in their ancestral territories. She filed a landmark case before the Inter-American Human Rights System (IAHRS) that ended in 2012 and currently faces other threats such as oil extraction projects by Chinese companies in their territory, and the long-standing conflict over the exploitation of the Sacred Bobonaza watershed.

Patricia is known nationally and internationally due to her ongoing work in defense of indigenous peoples' rights and the call she has made to amplify the call to keep fossil fuels in the ground in the Amazon.


Quannah Chasinghorse is an 18-year-old Alaskan who is a member of the Alaska Wilderness League, a campaign to protect the Arctic. This organization fights against US plans to extract fossil fuels from the Arctic.

Arctic communities are especially affected by global warming. "Many of us live in villages on the coast, and because of erosion, they are literally crumbling. Communities that have lived in this region for thousands of years are being forced to move and leave what has been their land for generations," says Qannah.

Coastal villages are crumbling because of erosion and communities that have lived in this region for thousands of years are being forced to move.

Chasinghorse believes it is essential to feel a bond with the land, as his people have done since time immemorial.

"It heals us to know that we are on the same land as our ancestors, it's what ties us to the community."


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became in 2018, at 28 years old, the youngest woman to reach the House of Representatives in the history of the United States.

Her fight is focused on combating climate change with the so-called Green New Deal, a proposal drafted by her and Democratic Senator Ed Markey to combat climate change while promoting measures to reduce economic inequality in the United States.

It has a clear objective: to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions within a decade. To achieve this goal, the congresswoman has proposed some concrete measures that will lead to the total decarbonization of the economy and the protection of people's rights.


Responsible for Greenpeace's climate change campaign in Spain. He studied Geology at the Complutense University of Madrid and Marine Sciences at the University of Cadiz. He has a master's degree in Integrated Coastal Zone Management from the University of Cadiz and two years of doctoral research in Oceanography.

On two occasions he has sailed the seas of Svalbard, in the Norwegian Arctic, where he has been able to verify the effects of melting ice and overfishing in one of the most vulnerable regions of our planet.

"Betting on a green world would help curb health crises like this one in the future. Our lives depend on it."


She has been an activist against climate change since she survived super typhoon Yolanda when she was 16 years old. When she lost everything, including her home, this young woman took up the cause against the climate emergency responsible for increasingly frequent and intense hurricanes and typhoons. Now, backed by Amnesty International, she presses her government to guarantee safety and dignified living conditions.

Now 22 years old, she is fighting for the Philippine government to ensure dignified living conditions for the people in her community because six years after the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda they are still living in unsanitary conditions and need food, water, shelter, electricity and toilets.


Lenca indigenous leader, feminist and Honduran environmental activist.

In 1993 she co-founded the Civic Council of Popular Indigenous Organizations (COPINH), which organized fierce campaigns against megaprojects that violated the land and environmental rights of local communities. Berta confronted - and often defeated - illegal loggers, plantation owners, multinational corporations and dam projects that cut off food and water supplies to indigenous communities.

Cáceres was deeply involved in the campaign to defend the Galcarque River, the proposed site of the Água Zarca hydroelectric dam. Berta was one of the strongest voices in opposition to the construction of the hydroelectric dam, which was initiated without the consent of the local communities.

The human rights defender was shot with a firearm on March 3, 2016. All indications are that the murder was carried out in retaliation for the human rights defender's work in defense of indigenous and environmental rights and her public denunciation of human rights violations perpetrated in the context of megaproject development in Honduras.


She is one of the most recognized Spanish activists in our country. She focuses on spreading the importance of slowing down climate change and at the same time putting an end to animal abuse.

She has written two books: "Camino a un mundo vegano" in which she reflects on the importance of basing your diet away from any kind of animal suffering both for animals and large meat industries that are a source of pollution worldwide, also includes tips and recipes to familiarize yourself with this lifestyle and start taking your first steps in veganism without fear.

She has also written a book called "The last generation that can save the planet" in which she intends to inspire and give all the necessary tools to take care of the planet.


Anthropologist, economist and analyst, born in Costa Rica in 1956. She has become an exemplar of environmental diplomacy, her aspiration: to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible.

She is considered one of the main architects of the historic global agreement on climate change reached by 195 countries in Paris on December 12, 2015. This was the first agreement in which both developed and developing nations committed to manage the transition to a low-carbon economy, and to keep the temperature rise at the end of this century to between 2 and 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

She is popularly known as "the woman who could stop climate change" or "the woman on a mission to save the world from global warming", a mission that many consider impossible. But Christiana has it very clear:

“Impossible is not a fact, it's an attitude."

Her fight against climate change continues, now as director of Mission 2020, where she aims to unite different forces (governments, institutions and the private sector) to protect the most vulnerable from global warming.


Professor of the Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences of the Faculty of Biology and member of the Institute for Research on Biodiversity (IRBio) of the UB.

Her research is mainly focused on understanding the responses of Mediterranean marine ecosystems to global change, in order to provide the necessary information for the conservation and restoration of coastal marine ecosystems.

His research program has focused on: coastal marine ecosystems due to increasing pressure from human activities; long-lived sessile species as model species given their fragility to increasing disturbances and their role providing structural complexity to communities; and marine reserves and restoration actions, which are the fundamental tools for the conservation of marine ecosystems.

Tell us about your feminist references and who inspires you to improve the world.

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