Five women climate champions everyone should know

Happy International Women’s Day! Here at Klima, we’re celebrating one of our favorite holidays by highlighting some of the incredibly smart, dedicated, and tireless women of climate change.

The only problem: narrowing down the list! There are literally thousands of brilliant women working in this field, as scientists, activists, politicians, communicators, and educators. Where to start? Close to home, by asking our colleagues to share the stories of women who inspire them.

We fired up a new Slack channel and kicked off a conversation among all the women right here at Klima. It wasn’t hard — we could have nerded out about our favorite female climate champions all day. Check out the stories behind these five incredible climate women, and learn why they inspire us.

Climate change is a threat to humanity, but if we fight against it, we can create new opportunities.

Sanna Marin stands out to me as an inspirational woman, not only because she represents my home country as the youngest ever female state leader in the world, but also because unlike her predecessors, her government has seen an increased focus on climate topics. She and her female cabinet have brought the topic front and center in the Finnish media, and as a result, our nation seems way more understanding of and engaged in the fight against climate change. I believe it’s crucial for women and young girls alike to have role models like her in leadership positions as it paves the way for future female leaders, which the world certainly needs.

— Lotta Kortekallio, Social Media Manager

The world needs to listen to the voices of Amazonian women.

I admire Nemone Nequimo for her courage and determination. When the Ecuadorian government announced new concessions for oil exploration and extraction across 500,000 acres of the Amazonian forest, she led legal action to protect her home and her people, and she succeeded. Other indigenous tribes in the Amazon are now following her footsteps to defend their territories from oil exploration. I think we should all look up to Nemonte Nequimo as a brave guardian of the forest, and a real-life hero. 

— Nicoletta Maestrini, Communications Assistant

Humans are the most clever species ever to have lived. How is it we can destroy our only planet?

How can you not be inspired by Jane Goodall! Her 60 years of groundbreaking work as a primatologist studying chimpanzees redefined entire fields of knowledge and reshaped our understanding of conservation. Today, at age 86 she still isn’t done: She spends her time advocating for climate action to protect the habitats and homes of the animals she spent her career discovering. 

— Denise Ong, Head of User Acquisition 

In the 1850s, Eunice Newton Foote made a remarkable discovery about greenhouse gases.

Eunice Newton Foote was the first scientist to document and prove the greenhouse effect, way back in 1856 — but she never got the credit she was due. She theorized that carbon dioxide could warm our atmosphere, and proved it through a simple but ingenious experiment. She used glass jars and thermometers to measure the increased heat trapped by high concentrations of CO2. Her results were published and well-received, but the real significance passed everyone by. 

For decades, she was forgotten, and it’s only in recent years that her name has resurfaced. Her story is a reminder for me that there are likely thousands of people who have worked behind the scenes to learn about and protect our climate, in both the past and present. We should celebrate them, and remember that none of us are alone in this fight, even if we can’t see everyone’s efforts. 

— Brenna Foster, Chief Communications Officer

We need to make decisions about how to shift the way we live on the planet.

Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson knew she wanted to be a marine biologist from the age of five, and today she’s that and so much more. Not only has she founded the Urban Ocean Institute, written the Blue New Deal (think Green New Deal, but oceans), and co-edited the climate anthology All We Can Save, she’s also the host of one of my favorite podcasts. 

Everytime I listen to How to Save a Planet, the amazing climate change podcast hosted by Dr. Johnson, I feel a little bit better about our odds. Her combination of pragmatism and determination, clear expertise and excellent calls to action make me feel that with people like her on board, we’ve definitely got a fighting chance against climate change. 

— Melanie Reisig, Senior Accountant 

Who are the women of climate change who inspire you? Leave us a comment on Instagram to let us know who keeps you motivated to keep pushing for a better future.

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Lotta Kortekallio
by Lotta Kortekallio
Social Media Manager
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