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‘It’s common sense’ to help women hit by global warming, says Therese Coffey – Express

The Environment Secretary told how “common sense and common decency” means countries must limit gender inequalities that are exacerbated by extreme weather events. Ms Coffey, speaking at COP27 on gender day, said: “No one deserves to be left behind and everyone has something to offer.

“We need everyone on board if we are going to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and the decline of the natural world.

“Common sense and, frankly, common decency tell us that addressing climate inequality is the smart thing to do and the right thing to do.

“Collectively, Governments are in command of billions of public money to which our citizens rightly expect us to make sure that women have better access through programmes that are designed with their needs in mind right from the very start.”

Girls often stay out of school for longer when drought strikes and need to walk further to find water sources.

They are often sold off as children when stricken families cannot afford to feed their daughters.

Women also make up the majority of the world’s small-scale farmers, meaning their livelihoods are most impacted when floods or extreme heat strikes. Rose Caldwell, chief executive of global children’s charity Plan International UK, said: “When climate disaster hits, like the droughts in East Africa where communities are now on the brink of famine, girls are likely to bear the brunt.

“The UK Government must play its full part in making sure COP27 delivers action on reducing emissions and building a greener and fairer future for all. Passing on the COP presidency does not mean passing on its moral responsibility.”

COP26 president Alok Sharma urged countries to remain committed to the goal of keeping warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

Experts believe that target could be under threat as poor nations struggle to find common ground with richer countries.

Mr Sharma warned: “This cannot be the COP where we lose 1.5 degrees. We’ve got to fight for this and every fraction of a degree makes a difference.”

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