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More Women Are Needed in Climate Debate, Top UN Official Says

  • Only 12% of environment ministry heads are women: Shahid
  • Disparity spreads to climate policy and finance, report says
A banner advertisings the upcoming COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, U.K., on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. Glasgow will welcome world leaders and thousands of attendees for the crucial United Nations summit on climate change in November.
A banner advertisings the upcoming COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, U.K., on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. Glasgow will welcome world leaders and thousands of attendees for the crucial United Nations summit on climate change in November.Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg

The COP26 climate talks suffer from a dearth of women, which hinders the debate on how to tackle the problem, the president of the United Nations General Assembly said. 

Just 12% of heads of national environment ministries and agencies are women, Abdulla Shahid, who is also the foreign minister of the Maldives, said in an interview at the UN discussions in Glasgow, Scotland. They also make up fewer than 30% of climate and biodiversity scientists and just 38% of national delegates at the talks, he added.