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How empowering women can positively impact global warming ?

The New York Time bestseller “Drawdown”, by Paul Hawken, is “The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming”. Mostly, it lists the “100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming, based on meticulous research by leading scientists and policymakers around the world”. Among those, two solutions are at the very heart of the Mangrove Foundation action.

The first one is to put women in control of small agricultural businesses. A few figures: women represent 43% of the workforce in small family farms (less than 2 Ha), and produce 60 to 80% of food crops in the poorest regions of the world, often with no or little remuneration. According to the FAO, if all of them would have access to resources equivalent to those available to men, yields would increase by 26%, food crops on less advanced countries by up to 4%, the number of undernourished would drop by 17%, meaning 100 to 150 million people would no longer be hungry. Higher yields means that deforesting for more farmland would be rendered useless. If furthermore this is coupled with regenerative agricultural practices, the soil becomes a carbon reserve. As women manage an estimated 40 million hectares, CO2 emissions would be reduced by as much as 2.1 gigatons by 2050. This is the 62nd most effective solution of those listed. This is why this is pivotal to our actions.

The second one is girls' education, and would be the 6th most effective solution (equivalent to family planning) . How is that? Educated women marry later, manage their contraception and their children are in better health. If scholarship in less advanced countries was as effective as that of e.g. South Korea (between the end of the Korean war in 1953 to 2017, the country has sent 100% of girls to secondary school), there would be 853 mio less births by 2050. Even if this happens in the poorest countries where people produce a fraction of the CO2 emissions of an American, 59.6 gigatons of CO2 would be saved by 2050. According to UNESCO, universal scholarship would cost $39 bio. We will do our fair share.


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