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Keynote Speaker Tara Shine

Climate for Change - 27th to 29th October 2022

Photo by Cathal Noonan

Blog by Dr. Debra Joseph, SI Barbados

Dr Tara Shine is an expert in the field of climate change and climate justice. She was very passionate about her field and instilled hope for us all in a world of uncertainty about climate change and environmental sustainability. Her topic was ‘A Climate for Change: Women Leading the Way’.

She emphasised that women have an integral role to play on the topic of climate change and that their voices should be heard. Her message was inspiring and many commented that it instilled hope for a better tomorrow.

One of her key points was the understanding of sustainability? What is sustainability? She defines it as ‘happy society, healthy planet and a thriving economy’. Her company ‘Change by Degrees’ provides a hopeful vision for the future for us living with climate change. We must look at ways in which our planet can be more sustainable and in so doing, help ourselves to be more sustainable.

She added that women are disproportionately affected by climate change and those in authority must recognize this and act on it. She reiterated that ‘no one is immune from climate change’. We all are in its direct path of collision. The people least responsible for climate change are the ones most affected.

People are on the move because of climate change. She looked at women in Pakistan who were affected by the flooding as an example. Some of these women lost their homes in the flooding and had to find alternative places to live with their families. Generally, women are more at risk in the wake of climate change as they may experience domestic violence and girls may drop out of school. She alluded to the top 100 problems of climate change and stated that the third most common issue is accessible education for women and girls. Women are underrepresented in climate decision-making with respect to climate change.

She reported that at COP26 in Glasgow in 2021, female delegates present were 49% and this was the highest ever. Men, however, made up of 63% of the delegates who spoke in plenaries and took 63% of the total speaking time. She articulated that there should be more divisive leadership. It must be noted that women are the key decision-makers in the home, as such, should have a seat at the table to discuss matters that pertains to their livelihoods.

Some recommendations for support of women entail:

  1. Lead from a world of kindness
  2. Display courage over comfort
  3. Visibility in creating change
  4. We are stronger together
  5. Collaboration is key as we cannot do this alone
  6. Let generosity be part of all we do as women
  7. We as women need to amplify each other.

You can find out more on the website or you can purchase her book entitled ‘How to Save your Planet One object at a time’.