On the evening of Wednesday 24 May 2023, Luxembourg-based international professional women's association The NETWORK held an event at ING in Luxembourg-Gare dedicated to climate change and its impact on women and girls around the world.
The event kicked off with an introduction by The NETWORK President Mariana Florea, as well as two short pitches from audience members wishing to promote their business or organisation. Mariana noted how climate change has a greater impact on women than men (with many women around the world serving as unpaid caregivers with limited earning capacity, discrimination in education and in the labour force) and how this impact is often even greater for women with a disability or those coming from the LGBTIQ+ or minority communities. She hinted at Luxembourg's Diversity Day, which took place one day earlier and during which The NETWORK was one of 43 organisations to sign the Diversity Charter.
In her presentation, guest speaker Patrizia Luchetta, founder of Charlotte in Red (a platform documenting the creative process of women in music, dance and art), gave an overview of climate change in figures, noting that 2022 was the fifth warmest year on record. She addressed the issues of rising temperatures, the water crisis and disappearing insect species and later looked at the approaches of the European Union and the United Nations in tackling climate change. She noted that every climate change shift particularly disrupts the lives of people in developing countries, adding that women are the most impacted demographic. For Patrizia, part of the solution lies in gender equality and women empowerment.
Fellow guest speaker Karla Gutierrez, founder and head of brand and content marketing at Cielo team, looked at how different parts of the world have different priorities (fighting climate change vs fighting poverty), but they are interconnected; fighting poverty can have a positive ripple effect on climate change. For Karla, it was thus important to address poverty in developing countries by giving girls and women the choice over their lives and bodies.
Linda Gaasch, municipal councillor for the City of Luxembourg (the Greens - Déi Gréng), with a Master in Science for Sustainable Development, looked at the consequences of anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change, such as floods, droughts and heatwaves. She also presented some of the ways in which the international community (COP21), the EU and Luxembourg have tried to tackle this issue (for example through the European Green Deal and national energy and climate plans). She emphasised the importance of change at the local level, for example in Luxembourg's municipalities, and went on to talk about "ecofeminism".
The presentations were followed by questions from the audience and the event concluded with a networking session.