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Cop29: leading women call for gender diversity

Pictured: Azerbaijan’s Minister for Ecology and the Environment and COP29 Organizing Committee President Mukhtar Bahadur. 

Gender diversity is crucial to successful negotiations and decision-making, bringing with it better, bolder decisions that have been shown to last.

In response to calls by 88 women leaders from across the globe, COP29 host Azerbaijan has included women in its organisational committee. The original 28-man committee has now had the addition of 12 women and two extra men. 

Dear President Ilham Aliyev,

COP29 offers an incredible opportunity for all humanity to advance towards a cleaner, safer and more inclusive future. The eyes of the world will be on Baku and with this great opportunity also comes responsibility. That means representing all people, including the more than 50% of the global population that are women.  

The decision to include no women in Azerbaijan’s COP29 Organisational Committee risks undermining the UN climate negotiation process. 

Gender diversity is crucial to successful negotiations and decision-making, bringing with it better, bolder decisions that have been shown to last.  

Many of the key successes of the COP process, including the Paris Agreement, were delivered by women leaders, working closely with their male colleagues. In the private sector, many of the leading voices for transformational action on climate are coming from women executives. Around the world, in every sector and industry new climate related jobs are being created and many are being filled with exceptionally talented women at every level.  

We need to ensure the best minds come together to advance solutions at this year’s negotiations in Baku. The absence or underrepresentation of women in the top team organising COP29 can only serve to diminish the progress we need from these climate talks.  

Hosting the COP negotiations provides a unique platform to attract international investment, tourism and attention. Azerbaijan has the chance to showcase the leadership of your most talented individuals, both men and women.  

As women leaders from business, civil society and science, we call on the Azerbaijan government to rethink the make-up of the COP29 Organisational Committee to include as many women as possible. The inclusion of both men and women in the decision-making team will offer strong foundations for a successful year of climate negotiations for Azerbaijan and take us a step closer to keeping our planet and all people safe for the future. 

Signed by

María Mendiluce, CEO, We Mean Business Coalition Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Co-president, The Club of Rome Helen Clarkson, CEO, Climate Group
Ann Mettler, Vice President, Europe Breakthrough Energy Karen Pflug, Chief Sustainability Officer, Ingka Group Mindy Lubber, President and CEO, CERES
Johannah Christensen, CEO, Global Maritime Forum Supriya Sen, Independent Board Member, We Mean Business Coalition Marina Grossi, President of CEBDS
Jessica Anderen, CEO, Ikea Foundation Sharan Burrow, Vice Chair, European Climate Foundation; Former General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation Catherine McKenna, CEO, Climate and Nature Solutions; Chair, UN Expert Group on Net Zero
Kristina Kloberdanz, Chief Sustainability Officer, Macquarie Asset Management Rachel Kyte, Co-Chair, VCMI Sophie Lambin, CEO & Founder, Kite Insights
Laura Clarke OBE, CEO, ClientEarth Cristina Gamboa, CEO, World Green Building Council Faustine Delasalle, CEO, Mission Possible Partnership
Dr. Nicola Kimm, Chief Sustainability Officer, Heidelberg Materials Kara Hurst, Vice President, Worldwide Sustainability, Amazon Nili Gilbert, Vice Chairwoman of Carbon Direct and the David Rockefeller Fund Investment Committee Chair
Kate E. Brandt, Chief Sustainability Officer, Google Laura Gitman, Chief Impact Officer, BSR Katherine Garrett-Cox, CEO GIB Asset Management
Laurence Tubiana, CEO, European Climate Foundation Diane Holdorf, Executive Vice President, WBCSD Dr. Vibha Dhawan, Director General, The Energy & Resources Institute
Gail Whiteman, Executive Director, Arctic Basecamp Shameela Soobramoney, CEO, National Business Initiative Andrea Brown, VP, Chief Sustainability Officer at LyondellBasell
Anila Noor, Managing Director, New Women Connectors, European Coalition Dr. Anna Grichting Solder, Senior Research Fellow, University of Vermont Carey Bohjanen, Founder, The Rallying Cry
Carine de Boissezon, Vice President, C3D Carine de Meyere, President & Founder, Women of the World Christie Ulman, President, Sequoia Climate Foundation
Claire Warmenbol, Communications and Partnership Manager, IUCN Dikshya Subedi, Founder, Youth Action For Sustainable And Eco Nepal Dominique Brustlein-Bobst, Swiss Ambassador, SHE Changes Climate
Ela Naz Birdal, Turkey Ambassador, SHE Changes Climate Elise Buckle, Co-Chair of the Climate and Gender Impact Group, UN Climate Advisor, Co-Founder and Co-Director of SHE Changes Climate Ester Baiget, CEO, Novozymes
Eva Zabey, CEO, Business for Nature Hafsat Abiola, Co-Lead of Project Dandelion, President of Women in Africa Initiative Halla Tómasdóttir, CEO and Chief Change Catalyst, The B Team
Helen Mountford, President and CEO, ClimateWorks Foundation Ita Kettleborough, Director, Energy Transitions Commission Janet Mrenica, CEO, Taproot.jem.Systems; Canada Ambassador, SHE Changes Climate
Janet Salisbury, Founder, Women’s Climate Congress Kate Hampton, CEO, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation Kathy Baughman McLeod, CEO, Climate Resilience for All
Kelley Kizzier, Director of Corporate Action and Market, Bezos Earth Fund Kirsten Dunlop, CEO, Climate-KIC Laura Giadorou Koch, CEO, Women 4 Solutions
Leanne Elliott Young, CEO & Co-Founder, Institute of Digital Fashion Lindsay Hooper, Executive Director, University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership Louise Kjellerup Roper, CEO, Volans Ventures
Mamta Borgoyary, Co Director, SHE Changes Climate Maria Netto, Executive Director, Institute for Climate and Society Dr. Mary Jean Bürer, Expert for Innosuisse and the Solar Impulse Foundation, and Member of SHE Changes Climate
Maud de Vries, CEO BYCS Melanie Nakagawa, Chief Sustainability Officer, Microsoft Michelle Li, Founder, Women and Climate
Mónica Andrés Enríquez, Executive Vice President Europe, Yara International Natasha Ezekiel, Founding Director, Rise Sustainability Consulting Neema Namadamu, Founder and Executive Director, Hero Women Rising
Noora Firaq, Deputy CEO of Climate Outreach, UK & Climate Leader from The Maldives Osprey Orielle Lake, Founder and Executive Director Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network Phoebe Barnard, International Global Change Scientist, Co-Founder of Stable Planet Alliance and GirlPlanet.Earth
Rebecca Collyer, Executive Director, ReNew2030 Rebecca Marmot, Chief Sustainability Officer, Unilever Sherry Madera, CEO, CDP
Shreya Ghodawat, SHE Changes Climate India Ambassador Sonam Velani, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Streetlife Ventures Stientje van Veldhoven, Vice President, World Resources Institute
Susan Marx, Director, Human Rights Programs, The Carter Center Valeria Duflot, Co-founder, Venezia Autentica; Founder, Overtourism Solution; Social Innovation Executive and Advisor, VD Impact Valeria Ramundo Orlando, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Greensquare Ventures
Vera Pinto Pereira, Executive Board Member, EDP Group Wanjira Mathai, Managing Director, Africa and Global Partnerships, World Resources Institute Yip ThyDiep Ta, CEO & Founder, J3D.AI Labs
Alicia Douglas, Founder, WaterRising Institute Arantza Ezpeleta, Chief Operating Officer, Acciona Energía Kate Wylie, Chief Sustainability Officer, Chanel and President, Fondation CHANEL
Ingrid Reumert, SVP, Group Stakeholder Relations at Ørsted. Caterina Sarfatti, Managing Director, Inclusion and Global Leadership, C40 Aimée Christensen, CEO, Christensen Global
Ana Costa, VP Legal, GA, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, Natura &Co LatAm Prof. Dr. Anabel von Preußen, CEO Sustain Plus GmbH Char Love, Director of Advocacy, Natura &Co
Emma Howard Boyd CBE, Chair, London Climate Resilience Review and Chair, Green Finance Institute Natalie Deacon, Head of Purpose and Sustainability, Avon International Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Green Finance Institute
Dr Tzeporah Berman, Chair and Founder Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative Zoe Cohen, Director Shine Coaching and Consultancy Zara Hussey, SHE Changes Climate Ireland Ambassdor, Deputy Director at Climate Cardinals
Carmen Capriles, Reacción Climática Heather Wokusch, Director of Development, International Forum for Understanding Sara Qualter,  Co-Founder, Divergent Think-Tank
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