Countries with More Women Leaders Pass More Climate Laws, New Research

More Women in Government = More Climate Laws Passed

Women may be better equipped to fight climate change.

New research has found that the more gender-equal a country’s government is the more likely it is to pass climate laws.

Using the Climate Change Laws of the World database, managed by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (2020), and the United Nations Gender Inequality Index (GII)  (UNDP, 2020), a multiple regression analysis found that the more gender-equal a nation’s government is, the more likely the country will address climate change through laws and policy.

  • Countries who have had a female in the highest elected office since 1997 have 3.57 more climate laws than countries that have not, on average.
  • A percent increase in the share of seats held by women in parliament is associated with .127 more climate laws passed on average.
  • Countries who have had female leaders in the highest elected office since 1997 are statistically different than countries that have not had a female leader when it comes to passing climate laws: Critical-t: 1.96 < t: 4.45.

“the more gender equal a  government is, the more likely the country will address climate change through laws and policy.”

Based on secondary research performed, there is also a positive relationship  between the share of seats in parliament and action towards achieving climate targets set forth in the 2015 Paris Agreement.  Action towards climate change may also be associated with improving other female equality measures like lowering adolescence birthrates.

Human capital in economics has included the definition of a  “willingness to pay for small changes in their probability of survival” (Landefeld & Seskin, 1982).  Based on this soon to be published research, if a country is willing to invest in other equality measures to ensure women have an equal voice in government, they may also be willing to invest in climate mitigation and global warming reduction policies for the health of all their citizens.   

Policy from diverse and representative governments will be needed to reach climate targets.

Climate change is globally acknowledged as one of the most significant challenges facing humanity.  With competing priorities, policy curtailing emissions and building climate resilience competes with multiple interests and demands.  Understanding what social, economic, and human development policies influence climate policy may help the stakeholders invested in the competing demands partner with one another to achieve greater success.

Mitigating climate change has political, social, and economic barriers and influences and policy from diverse and representative governments will be needed to reach country specific climate goals.  

CIted Sources

Women Leaders data collected from Center for Asian Pacific Women in Politics (2009) https://web.archive.org/web/20161019213811/http://www.capwip.org/participation/womenheadofstate.html and Planet Rulers (2020) https://planetrulers.com/category/female-leaders/

Landefeld, J. S., & Seskin, E. P. (1982). The economic value of life: linking theory to practice. American Journal of Public Health, 72(6), 555-566.

UNDP. (2019). Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: Inequalities in human development in the 21st century. Retrieved from United Nations Development Program: http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/hdr2019.pdf

UNDP. (2020). Human Development Index Database. Retrieved from United Nations Development Program: http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/human-development-index-hdi

United Nations. (2013). Kenya National Development Report: Climate Change and Human Development. Retrieved from http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/climate-change-and-human-development

 

 

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