The glass ceiling is being broken at the local level as all around the world, there are more women than ever before in city halls.

Third Women4Climate Conference confirmed to take place at Paris City Hall on 20th February 2019

Women leaders of the world’s greatest cities achieved a remarkable milestone today: with the election of London Breed as mayor of San Francisco, 20 of the world’s greatest cities are now led by women, representing 110 million urban citizens – greater than the population of Germany.

The number of women mayors of C40’s leading global cities has increased five-fold in the last four years, rising from only 4 in early 2014. 21% of C40 mayors are now women and rising, confirming that the glass ceiling is being broken at the local level.

Since becoming the first woman to Chair the C40 Cities network, Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo launched the Women4Climate Initiative that aims to empower by 2020, 500 young women taking bold climate action in the world’s leading cities. These climate heroines will be key in implementing Deadline 2020, the Paris Agreement roadmap for cities.

Today C40 announced that the third annual Women4Climate Conference will take place at Paris City Hall on 20th February 2019. The Women4Climate conference, brings together inspiring women leaders from cities, business, investors, start-ups and the next generation of climate champions, to shape the climate future through innovative initiatives. Previous editions took place in Mexico City in 2018 and in New York City in 2017.

“The 21st century is the century of women and the world now sees how inclusive and positive change begins with electing women leaders to office. With all my women and men counterparts at C40, we want to drive women’s capacities in leading the way towards a healthier, safer and more sustainable future for all.” said Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris & Chair of C40 Cities. “I am proud to work alongside such dynamic and charismatic women who have committed to making the world a more inclusive place through bold climate action plans. The C40 Women4Climate initiative will continue its efforts to empower unstoppable young women leaders of today and tomorrow, advocating for equal representation across all sectors and at all levels”.

“Cities will shape the future of climate action and we need the strongest possible leaders around the globe to take up and continue the fight,” said Patricia E. Harris, Bloomberg Philanthropies CEO. “We are proud to support all C40 mayors in their commitments to deliver on their climate goals, and C40’s particular championship and development of strong female climate leadership.”

Women mayors of C40 cities include:

Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, France and Chair of C40
Elisabeth Ackermann, Mayor of Basel, Switzerland
Muriel Bowser, Mayor of Washington D.C., USA
London Breed, Mayor of San Francisco, USA
Sally Capp, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Australia
Manuela Carmena, Mayor of Madrid, Spain
Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona, Spain
Latoya Cantrell, Mayor of New Orleans, USA
Jenny Durkan, Mayor of Seattle, USA
Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, Mayor of Warsaw, Poland
Zandile Gumede, Mayor of Durban, South Africa
Fumiko Hayashi, Mayor of Yokohama, Japan
Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo, Japan
Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of Hong Kong, China
Patricia de Lille, Mayor of Cape Town, South Africa
Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney, Australia
Valerie Plante, Mayor of Montreal, Canada
Virginia Raggi, Mayor of Rome, Italy
Karla Rubilar, Mayor of Santiago, Chile
Karin Wanngård, Mayor of Stockholm, Sweden

Women leaders including Christiana Figueres, Laurence Tubiana and Patricia Espinosa played and keep playing a critical role in negotiating and implementing the Paris Agreement. Women also make up more than half the world’s population, and are often disproportionately impacted by climate change. Their leadership and participation is therefore critical in solving this global crisis.

The Women4Climate Mentorship Programme seeks to empower the next generation of women climate leaders by connecting them with inspiring mayors, committed leaders from the business sector, international organizations and civil society. Mentorship programmes have already been launched in Paris, Mexico City, Montréal, Quito, Tel Aviv and London.

In addition, the Women4Climate Initiative includes a tech challenge, a global competition designed to drive innovative climate solutions from women working in the tech, as C40 wants to accelerate the climate positive footprint of women in the 21st century.  The competition will be officially launched at C40’s launch event for the Global Climate Action Summit: Cities4Climate – The Future is Us, taking place at San Francisco City Hall on September 12th. Winners will receive a fellowship and see their ideas implemented in C40 cities.

To inform the decision making process and support cities in considering gender-specific impacts and solutions in urban and climate action planning, C40 is also working on research that will provide cities the tools to implement inclusive climate action strategies that take gender equality into account.

The Women4Climate initiative is generously supported by L’Oréal, its founding partner, ELLE magazine and Michelin Foundation.

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