Climate change is one of the most urgent global challenges facing the world today, and the coming years will be decisive for the planet’s ecosystems and the quality of life it supports – including people around the world.
Feminist thinking has shown the links between climate change, patriarchy, and histories of colonial resource extraction. It sets a clear case for the need to transform unsustainable systems of industrial production and models based on never-ending growth.
We recognize the long standing work of women’s groups on climate justice – especially those from the Global South. We are inspired by youth-led movements such as Fridays For Future and Youth Climate Strike. As an alliance working to dismantle patriarchal masculinities, we consider it our responsibility to support their calls for critical action on the climate and environmental crises.
We know that the impacts of climate change are already more severe for women, girls and the most marginalized groups. Compounding this, female climate activists face the brunt of a misogynistic backlash from some men who feel threatened by the issue.
Research shows that men are more likely to have a more negative impact on the environment compared to other groups, for example through:
- A less environmentally conscious lifestyle
- More likely to deny environmental problems and climate threats, or even actively counter people and organizations trying to do something about them.
- More likely to put short-term economic considerations ahead of ecological sustainability.
- Likely to have a larger ecological footprint due to greater average incomes compared to other groups (and likely to make less environmentally conscious decisions about how to spend money).
- Less willing to make behavioral changes for the sake of the climate.
Despite the links, a ‘masculinities lens’ is rarely part of mainstream analyses of the global environmental crisis.
We believe it is crucial to understand boys’ and men’s multiple roles in climate change. We wish to understand how masculinities – within patriarchal systems – play a contributing role in perpetuating climate change, and how this worrying trend can be transformed at individual, community, and societal levels.
Find out more
In 2016, several members of MenEngage Alliance co-developed a discussion paper, Men, Masculinities & Climate Change: A Discussion Paper.
Working Group for Climate and Environmental Justice
MenEngage Alliance currently has a Working Group on Climate and Environmental Justice. The group consists of members from different regions and contexts. The group aims to catalyze, energize and support climate justice efforts across MenEngage Alliance, and to build partnerships in solidarity with other groups.