The Elders

Mary Robinson

Dear friends,

We are at a tipping point. Climate change is not a far-off threat but a daily reality, as people already struggling against drought, floods and extreme weather events know all too well.

To avoid doing irreversible damage to the world we live in, The Elders believe that we must urgently change course and do everything in our power to move towards a carbon-neutral future. That is why we urged European leaders to set ambitious climate targets at this week’s EU summit; these targets will set the terms for further international negotiations over the next two years.

We can tackle climate change – we have the tools. But this requires global leadership and unprecedented international cooperation. As we said in January, “If ever there were a cause to unite us all, old or young, rich or poor, climate change must surely be it.”

International Women’s Day

On International Women’s Day, I addressed a UN meeting in Rome about how climate change exacerbates the vulnerability of women already suffering from unequal protection of the law and a lack of access to justice.

As Elders, we have always championed the view that gender equality is not just a ‘women’s issue’. I was proud to see Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Tutu fielding questions in a Twitter Q&A for International Women’s Day. If we want to continue to challenge the use of religion and tradition to perpetuate discrimination against girls and women, it is of vital importance that men are speaking out – particularly male religious leaders and community leaders. Our most popular answer, from Archbishop Tutu, was: “To denigrate women is to spit in the face of God.”

I hope we can hold further dialogues on Twitter and other digital platforms. And I want to hear from you: what topics would you like The Elders to discuss in future Q&As? Tweet us your suggestions using #askElders.

Best wishes,

Mary Robinson

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