Having more women in politics is crucial to the fight against climate change, according to former president Mary Robinson.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Mrs Robinson said the world is facing a “very worrying paradox,” with the threat of runaway climate change growing every year.
She said the recent COP27 conference showed that “we are on the cusp of a clean energy world”, but it may not come in time to prevent catastrophic warming of 2.4C.
Mrs Robinson said it is crucial that we bring more women into politics to bring the climate battle forward.
“If there is a better gender balance, hopefully what we call parity, which is 50%, you get better decisions,” she said.
“You get better decisions because you get different inputs from different expertise, different ways of being brought up, different everything.
“Diversity is really important to decision-making. All corporations now recognise that - and gender diversity and indeed racial diversity is really important.”
She said having a gender balance will bring gender justice to politics.
“It is not saying that women are necessarily better than men but we haven’t seen enough of the problem-solving, less hierarchical, more practical way in which women do address problems.
“That comes out of the women’s movement. It is very clear.”
The former president recently said that putting more women in power would bring more empathy to the climate fight.
She told Newstalk she is “very encouraged” by the work of Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who is campaigning for major changes to international monetary bodies like the World Bank and the IMF.
“They could, in fact, lend far more at good rates to help developing countries move to clean energy much faster – which is essential,” she said.
“We have to see that and we could have literally billions more that would then call in the trillions from the private sector because interest rates would be lowered by the lending of the public money.
“That is the key.”
"Very worrying paradox"
Mrs Robinson said there were some encouraging signs coming out of COP27 – but the world is facing a “very worrying paradox.”
“It became very clear, we are on the cusp of a clean energy world, you know, with lots of cooperation, lots of innovation and commitment – but we are in fact, headed for a 2.4C warmer world, which would be catastrophic,” she said.
“If countries did everything they committed to and corporations did everything they committed to, we would be on course for a 2.4C world.
“Meaning, if they don’t even do that, we are worse and that is catastrophic so we have to change course.
“Which is why we have to talk about climate a lot on your programme and every other programme.”
You can listen back here: