Other Selected Past and Ongoing WECAN Initiatives
Earth Economics Program
In order to live in harmony with the Earth and to halt the most destructive aspects of our modern life, we need to advance a new economy based on the carrying capacity of our Earth and finite planetary boundaries. This will also entail a just transition to a new clean energy economy.
We need a fundamental redirection of the world economy, necessitating that we adhere to precepts that uphold the ecological design and boundaries of nature. We need to question the growth orientation of our development models, which is fueling consumerism and the commodification of our natural resources. We need laws that reveal and uphold a true cost economy so that industry, corporations and individuals are required to take responsibility for costs associated with any effort needed to ensure and protect the integrity and well-being of ecosystems for the entire cycle of activities of production and transportation—costs which have previously been externalized and passed on to others. A true cost economic model will drive industry toward sustainable activities and practices because it becomes cost-prohibitive, as well as prohibited, to pollute and harm humans and Nature.
We need legislation that will encourage the formulation and implementation of new economic structures and indicators such as Gross National Happiness, Genuine Progress Indicator, Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare, and others that do not rely upon GDP as the only true or acceptable metric. We must question defining worth, wealth, value, and well-being based on only the measuring of money and quantities of material goods.
We call for the implementation of an economics that empowers local communities and supports indigenous and traditional peoples way of life. One that measures and values “Gross Happiness” instead of “Gross Domestic Product.” We call for economics that create development opportunities without destroying surrounding ecosystems all living things on the planet depend upon for life.
The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network was honored to partner with Praxis Peace Institute to present the conference, 'Economics of Sustainability: Emerging Models for a Healthy Planet' in San Fransisco, October 2014.
United Nations Rio+20 Earth Summit event
Women Leading the Way: Mobilizing for an Equitable, Resilient and Thriving Future. In June 2012, the Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus (WECC), the parent body of WECAN, organized a side-event at the United Nations Rio+20 Earth Summit entitled Women Leading the Way: Mobilizing for an Equitable, Resilient and Thriving Future. This side event featured Dr. Vandana Shiva, Marina Silva, Dr. Sylvia Earle and Ted Turner. The United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison in charge of this side event venue heralded this as one of the best events of Rio+20.
Women of the Land Speak
In February 2013, WECC organized a delegation of women leaders to advocate opposition to and alternatives to the XL Keystone Pipeline in Washington D.C. These women leaders included First Nations women from Alberta, Canada along with women farmers from Texas. A meeting was also organized with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) so the women leaders could present their cases against the pipeline to the EPA and advocate for swift action. Due to this effort, in addition to advocacy work by many other environmental groups, the EPA issued a strong critique of the U.S. State Department’s evaluation and defense of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The EPA’s report has helped stall advancements of the Keystone decision. We continue our efforts on this issue.
Engaged Donors for Global Equity Alliance Conference
Session entitled: Women Hold the Solutions! Women forging solutions to build community resilience and environmentally sustainable solutions
In May 2013, WECAN partnered with the Global Fund for Women, supported by Global Greengrants, to hold a session for the Engaged Donors for Global Equity (EDGE) Alliance Conference held in Washington, D.C. We designed this session to educate the participants as to why women are key to climate change and sustainability solutions and to present concrete examples.
WECC Resilient Communities and Rights of Nature Trainings
WECC Resilient Community Trainings include trainings on water systems, reducing our personal carbon footprint, local food, localizing energy and learning bioregional knowledge and skills. The Rights of Nature training involves implementing Rights of Nature as a strategic climate change legislative tool, working for international advocacy, and offering educational events. Current laws treat nature as property and an object of the law with no legal standing. Rights of Nature treats nature as a subject of the law empowering communities to legally protect and defend the ecosystems where they live.
International Women’s Earth & Climate Summit
After two years of extensive outreach, organizing and preparation, the International Women's Earth & Climate Summit took place on September 20 – 23, 2013 in Suffern, New York during Climate Week. The working Summit included 100+ women leaders from around the world gathered for 3-1/2 days of dialogue, deliberation and creation of a climate change and sustainable solutions action agenda.
Delegates to the Summit included grassroots activists, economists, scientists, businesswomen, Indigenous leaders, policy-makers, faith leaders and culture shapers from the Global South and the Global North.
Summit Delegates included:
- Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary to the UNFCCC;
- Marina Silva, former Brazilian Minister of Environment;
- Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland;
- Dr. Jane Goodall, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute;
- Melina Laboucan-Massimo, Member of the Lubicon Cree First Nation and Climate and Energy Campaigner;
- Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate;
- Casey Camp-Horinek from the Indigenous Environmental Network (Ponca/USA);
- Dr. Sylvia Earle, marine biologist;
- May Boeve, 350.org Executive Director;
- Patricia Gualinga Montalvo, Indigenous Leader (Sarayaku/Ecuador);
- Dr. Vandana Shiva
Along with leaders from Global Gender Climate Alliance, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), One Million Women, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and other grassroots organizations. See a full list of Summit delegates.
Along with the well-known delegates, many of the participants are accomplished leaders in their fields who, though lesser known outside of their home countries, are major figures who rarely have the opportunity to converse together at this level.
The result was an unprecedented collaboration of women who are fiercely dedicated to a just transition to a clean energy future and to transforming how we are living with the Earth and each other. During the Summit the delegates committed themselves to building momentum for substantive action to increase funding for needed changes in programs and projects, and for the meaningful policy changes necessary to address the global climate crisis and for changes to our collective cultural narrative.
Ranging from small regional groups to large organizations with constituencies of hundreds of thousands, the combined reach of Summit collaborators represents 19 million women and men. This is a substantial boost to civil society movements mobilizing around climate change, with a commitment to climate justice and to implementation of on-the-ground solutions.
Live Stream Watch Parties (Vision Hubs) and a WECAN YouTube Channel
Our goal was to create a WECAN YouTube Channel from which we could live stream the Summit panels and plenaries internationally. We were able to accomplish this and reach far more participants than we originally anticipated with over 520 interactive Vision Hubs established in 65 countries.
A Vision Hub is a multi-platform that we made available around the world, allowing individuals/groups to gather across the globe to participate in the Summit by viewing plenary and panel sessions and submitting questions and feedback, in real time, to the presenters.
Establishing the presence of the YouTube channel has allowed thousands of people to continue to benefit from the Summit. We will host the channel for years to come. The link to the channel is http://www.youtube.com/user/IWECI?feature=watch
Media work resulted in local, national and international coverage, including the Amanpour Show on CNN International; NBC News; Thomson Reuters; The Washington Times; The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann; Democracy Now!; Free Speech Radio News; Earth Island Journal; Yes! Magazine; Huffington Post Impact; Huffington Post Green; Huffington Post World; Nobel Women's Initiative; Go Green Radio; Spirituality & Health Magazine; Nation of Change; Native American Times and Yale Daily News.
To view the CNN interview go to: http://amanpour.blogs.cnn.com/2013/09/30/time-for-sanity-on-climate-change-goodall-and-shiva-tell-amanpour
To see all Summit media coverage go to: http://www.iweci.org/news
Immediately following the International Summit five delegates were invited to speak at the Social Good Summit in Manhattan. The IWECI panel can be viewed by going to: http://new.livestream.com/Mashable/sgs2013. The outreach for this event was millions worldwide.
Photos of the Summit can be viewed at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/101097407@N04. Photos were provided by Lori Waselchuk, award-winning documentary photographer, who volunteered her time. www.loriwaselchuk.com.
Document Products of the Summit
The Summit produced two critical documents: the WECAN Climate Declaration and the Women’s Climate Action Agenda. The WECAN Climate Declaration is already being distributed worldwide by allied networks and is serving as a powerful organizing tool.
Entitled “Women of the World Call for Urgent Action on Climate Change & Sustainability Solutions”, the Declaration calls for key actions such as a commitment to transition to a clean energy economy, including electrical generation from 100 % renewables; the cancellation of further fossil fuel developments including the Canada tar sands; calling for carbon fees and a financial transaction tax; and protection of the world’s oceans and forests. See the full text of the Declaration at: http://www.iweci.org/uploads/cke_documents/IWECI_declaration_FA.pdf.
Women’s Climate Action Agenda (WCAA)
The WCAA is a highly researched, detailed road map supporting solutions that keep global temperatures from rising no more than 2 degrees centigrade. The Women’s Climate Action Agenda is framed within the estimated remaining ‘carbon budget’ emissions left globally, approximately 450 – 500 Gts, that we can still emit into the atmosphere and achieve that goal. This requires very wise and strategic investments of the ‘carbon budget’ in order to transition to clean, renewable energy.
Since the Summit was held, more than 15 new partnerships and projects have been spawned among delegates due to interaction at the Summit.
1 Million Women +WECAN
1 Million Women is an organization in Australia that focuses on sustainability and climate awareness of women as consumers, and how consumer patterns, if changed, can significantly decrease CO2 and other GHG emissions. 1 Million Women, with 80,000 women currently engaged, has asked WECAN to redesign the messaging to fit an American audience and WECAN will partner to run the campaign in the US.