March 26, 2019

Rep. Barbara Lee, Sen. Mazie Hirono Introduce the Women And Climate Change Act

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) introduced the Women and Climate Change Act of 2019, to develop coordinated strategies to mitigate the impact of climate change on women and girls around the world.

“Women make up the majority of the world’s poor and are especially vulnerable to abrupt changes in the environment – yet all too often they are excluded from key policy decisions,” said Congresswoman Lee. “As climate change worsens, provoking historic droughts, rising sea levels and violent storms, women and girls will bear the brunt of this global crisis. This legislation, the Women and Climate Change Act, encourages approaches to climate change mitigation that uplift, include, and empower women. We need women leaders at the table if we want to effectively alleviate climate change and develop sustainability initiatives. My legislation takes an intersectional approach to the climate crisis and affirms the role of women in the effort to save our planet.”

“For far too long, women have been left out of the conversation on how best to confront the challenges of climate change, though across the globe women are disproportionately impacted by its effects,” Senator Hirono said. “This bill will affirm the United States’ commitment to dismantling the economic and societal barriers women face, while also maintaining our responsibility to combat climate change. As Women’s History Month, March provides us with an important time to revisit our global obligation to expand opportunities for women while continuing to adapt to and meet the needs of our changing planet.”

Climate change is already worsening public health epidemics, forcing migration and refugee crises, and destabilizing communities. The Women and Climate Change Act would direct federal agencies to lead the global effort to mitigate the effects of climate change on women and girls around the world by establishing coordinated and comprehensive strategies. More specifically, this legislation establishes a Federal Interagency Working Group on Women and Climate Change within the U.S. Department of State. Members of this working group include, but are not limited to, designees from the Department of State, the Agency for International Development, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

The bill was endorsed by the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, and the Women’s Environment and Development Organization.