Too few women in U.N. climate jobs? Ban names 19-man panel

March 12, 2010

banA women’s group is criticising the United Nations for appointing only men to a 19-strong panel of experts to work out how to raise billions of dollars to fight climate change.

“A planet of men? Since when?” asks the German-based Gender CC — Women for Climate Justice in a statement. (An update — since the list was announced, U.N. officials say that a woman has been added — French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde)

The new panel, to be co-chaired by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, will look into ways to raise at least $100 billion a year by 2020 to help developing countries combat climate change. The panel includes Guyana’s president, Norway’s prime minister, finance ministers, investors and leading economists: all men.

Marion Rolle of GenderCC says U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon could expand the panel and add some well-qualified women before a first meeting planned in London for March 29. “There’s still time” she told me.

Rolle says Ban’s next test will be the appointment of a successor for Yvo de Boer, the top U.N. climate change official, who stands down on July 1 after four years in the job. His predecessor was a woman,  the late Joke Waller-Hunter.

“The important thing is to look at the qualifications of both men and women. It must not be a woman at any price,” Rolle said. Many studies show climate change is harsher on women in developing countries than men, partly because mothers usually have to stay in areas affected by droughts, deforestation or crop failure.

Strong female candidates for de Boer’s job might be Kenya’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai or Dessima Williams, Grenada’s ambassador to the United Nations, she said.

Yet so far, nominees for the post are all … men.

(Picture: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks next to U.N. climate chief Yvo de Boer (R) at a news conference during the U.N. Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen December 15, 2009. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins)


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What could be more ridiculously PC? Good God – carping about quota representation on a junk science panel!
[For a light hearted take our present peril]

Posted by LibertyAtStake | Report as abusive

Woman are more rational and that is sorely needed in this Al Gore ‘make me rich’ driven climate effort

Posted by STORY-BURN | Report as abusive

Women as a rule don’t have a sick enough sense of humor to participate in a scam such as this. It is feared that a woman might have too much a conscience and feel the need to expose what is happening.

Posted by nimrod666 | Report as abusive

I’ve begun a list of suggested members for the UN’s new climate finance panel on my blog about climate economics, and I invite your readers to join in with suggestions. The blog, Public Goods ( offers my perspective, as a climate economist, on climate change, economic policy, and the quest for global prosperity and equity.

Posted by LizStanton | Report as abusive

I take exception to the implication that finding 10 women experts might be at some cost to the quality of expertise. I doubt very much there are so little experts in the world.

It’s also funny that Ban Ki Moon last 13 Oct 2009 asked that women play a greater role in climate change debates. “The special perspective of women is often overlooked in global discussions on climate change.” rtId=86561

Posted by kaydeen | Report as abusive

What is going on with the National media?
The Vermont Yankee Nuclear power plant up until a few weeks ago was leaking radioactive Tritium into the Connecticut river and NOBODY SAYS A WORD. The ground around the plant is contaminated with radioactive CESIUM and still NOT A PEEP! Have the powers that be acquired so much clout that they can influence the National scene to this extent?

Posted by jtbxt | Report as abusive