In May 2018, as Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna created and hosted a global summit, Women Kicking it on Climate.
Her words at the time: “I am privileged to work with so many fearless women who are climate leaders. We know women and girls are particularly at risk when it comes to climate change, and yet women are also at the forefront of bold climate leadership around the world. Together, women are turning ideas into solutions.”
The rationale was to bring together fearless women leading on climate in communities around the world who are working in a variety of sectors – public, private, academic and civil society. The event was a great success and an amazing network of women was created.
As COP26 approaches, WKIC is taking its first step towards becoming a major global initiative, Women Leading on Climate (WLOC), that seeks to:
recognize the leadership of women and girls in advancing progress on climate action in the corridors of COP 26 but also in communities around the world
broaden the network of women and girls engaged in discussions around the environment and climate change at COP26 but also beyond
raise awareness of the disproportionate impact of climate change on women and girls globally and discuss innovative solutions and share best practices
To deliver its COP26 program, McKenna has partnered with Student Energy, an incredible youth-led organization that empowers the next generation of leaders who are accelerating the transition to a sustainable, equitable energy future. It has a network of 50,000 young people from over 120 countries. WLOC is also affiliated with UN Women who will help engage and leverage their broad international network.
Catherine was Canada’s second longest serving Minister of Environment and Climate Change, as part of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet. In this role, she helped negotiate the Paris Agreement and developed and negotiated Canada’s first comprehensive climate plan including a price on pollution, a coal phase out, and a doubling of the amount of nature protected in Canada in partnership with Indigenous Peoples. She most recently served as Minister of Infrastructure and Communities where she helped develop and implement Canada’s Build Back Better infrastructure plan. She left politics in 2021 in order to focus her energies on scaling climate and nature solutions and to empower changemakers in this space.
Meredith Adler is the Executive Director for Student Energy. She is a recognized leader in developing young people’s capacity to be change agents while working with the energy industry, governments and organizations to empower youth. Under Meredith’s leadership the organization has increased its size and impact tenfold.
Oluwadabira Abiola-Awe is the Solutions Movement Associate for Student Energy. Building on her leadership working with young people on energy projects in Nigeria, Oluwadabira is building programs that aim to launch 10,000 youth-led energy projects globally with funding, skill-building resources, and mentorship young people need to become the generation that will meet our 2030 climate goals.
Student Energy empowers the next generation of leaders who are accelerating the transition to a sustainable, equitable energy future. We work with a network of 50,000 youth in over 120 countries. Our programs build skills of young people, and foster the intergenerational collaboration we need to deploy climate solutions globally.