BH CORRESPONDENT, Kolkata: Ahead of the International Women’s Day (celebrated globally on March 8), the British Deputy High Commission in Kolkata held a panel discussion on ‘Women in Climate Action: The Future and its Scope’ at the ADAMAS University campus in Barasat on Monday. The event was organised in collaboration with the South Asian Women in Media (SAWM) and ADAMAS University.
The UK is striving to become a gender-equal society. Like in India, progress has been made but there is still more to do. That is why the UK and India are working together on shared global challenges like empowering women as leaders and trail-blazers, building better and more economic opportunities for women, tackling gender-based violence and human trafficking, promoting girls’ education and positive gender roles in schools and boosting climate resilience among women in rural communities.
This year, the UK is hosting the UN climate conference, COP 26, at Glasgow from 9-19 November 2020. This is an opportunity to make a truly global effort. In the run up to the world’s biggest climate conference, the UK will hold a Year of Climate Action.
Monday’s event on ‘Women in Climate Action’, held ahead of the International Women’s Day, was one of the many such programmes that the UK is supporting in India to highlight the impact of climate change on women and ways to build climate resilience.
In his inaugural address at the event, Nick Low, the British Deputy High Commissioner in Kolkata, said, “This year the United Kingdom will host COP26, the United Nations climate change summit where we need the global community of nations to agree more ambitious action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Make no mistake – getting that agreement is a big challenge. But it’s a challenge the UK will not duck. We are at a tipping point – early decisive action to repair the Earth or continuing as we are and doing irreparable damage. This is an opportunity to turn the tide. COP26 will be the biggest summit the UK has ever hosted, bringing together over 30,000 delegates when it takes place in Glasgow this November. There, we need countries, cities, states and businesses – to move onto a credible path to reach net zero globally in the coming decades”.
Low also said: “On climate change as in so many other fields, the United Kingdom and India are working together as a Force for Good. That includes our work with the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, to incorporate data on climate change as part of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). This will strengthen resilience to the impacts of climate change and promote livelihood security among poorer women in rural communities in India”.
“Ahead of the International Women’s Day which is on 8 March, I’m delighted that the UK and India are sharing expertise to ensure women and girls can reach their full potential around the world and are partners in climate change mitigation and adaptation,” the Deputy High Commissioner added.
Swati Bhattacharjee, General Secretary, South Asian Women in Media (SAWM) India, said in her address, “Climate change influences women’s lives in deep and diverse ways. Its impact needs to be represented in all its complexity in news media, as well as in other forms of media”.
Addressing the gathering, Professor Samit Ray, Chancellor, ADAMAS University said, “Tackling climate change is a shared responsibility for mankind. Let us all stand shoulder to shoulder and contribute to the establishment of an equitable and effective mechanism on climate change and work for sustainable development worldwide”.
Eminent environmentalist and activist T Vijayendra delivered the keynote address at the event. Poet, writer and activist Joya Mitra, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean, ADAMAS University, Jyotsna Yagnik and Associate Professor, Department of International Relations, Jadavpur University, Kakoli Sengupa, and journalist Sahana Ghosh discussed the future and scope of ‘Women in Climate Action’ in a session moderated by journalist Chandrima Bhattacharya at the event.