I understand that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is having some trouble finding appropriately illustrious women to sit on the newly formed High-Level Advisory Group on Mobilizing Climate Change Resources. (Here’s an open letter from 138 women’s organizations asking the Secretary General to reconsider his appointment of a panel consisting of 19 men and no women; since then, France has replaced its appointee with a woman, French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde).
Since the panel is drawn primarily from current and former heads of state (four members) and high-level economic policy-makers in national governments or international institutions (10 members), I thought I would help the Secretary General out by identifying their female counterparts. A very small amount of Googling on my part turned up nine current female heads of state and more than 50 current female finance ministers, as well as a host of other current and former high-level female dignitaries.
Here are a few suggestions of other women (looking a little further than government officials) who would be assets to the new climate-change finance group:
Sunita Narain is the director of the India-based Centre for Science and Environment. Her research and writing on climate change have found a wide international audience and made a major impact on the way that climate equity issues are framed. Her work with Anil Agarwal on an equal per capita right to the atmosphere for every global citizen is essential reading for policymakers and climate economics students alike.
Dessima Williams is Grenada’s ambassador to the United Nations and the chair of the Alliance of Small Island States. AOSIS has helped to bring to the public view the disproportionate burden faced by small low-lying countries, where climate change-related sea-level rise is already causing enormous damage.
Elinor Ostrom is a Nobel laureate in economics, best known for her work on the institutions that guide the use and misuse of common resources, including our shared atmosphere.
Any other suggestions? I’d love to hear them (you can post a comment using the link above), and I’m sure the Secretary General would, too.