Women at COP28: Meet five Indian women who are pioneering climate action in the country

Women at COP28: Meet five Indian women who are pioneering climate action in the country

While climate is the hot topic from Dubai, here’s a look at the women who are addressing climate change proactively

The Climate Change 2023 Synthesis report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states that human-caused climate transformation is already triggering numerous extreme weather events worldwide, resulting in widespread adverse impacts on both nature and people. Such reports serve as catalysts for greater collective global efforts, such as the UNFCCC’s Conference of the Parties to the Convention (COP), providing hope for addressing this critical issue. With COP28 taking place in Dubai on November 30th, it also sheds light on the women in India actively driving climate-friendly initiatives.

Nidhi Pant

Founder of S4S (Science For Society) Technologies, Nidhi Pant, is a champion of WCC (Women Climate Collective), a community of women working on climate change and gender issues, and working at the intersection of agriculture, gender, energy access, and financial inclusion. S4S Technologies is a near-farm gate food processing platform powered by solar power which empowers thousands of women entrepreneurs and small businesses. She has also received the prestigious Earthshot Prize 2023 for creating a waste-free food system, demonstrating her commitment to environmental sustainability. This award was presented by Britain’s Prince William and is referred to as the ‘Eco Oscars’. She is also a winner of multiple accolades, including the Women Transforming India Awards, Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia and India listings, Unilever Young Entrepreneur Award, and Cisco Youth Leadership Award.

Dia Mirza

Actor, producer, and climate champion Dia Mirza serves as the National Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and represented India’s concerns on sustainability at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) - SDG Summit in New York. In collaboration with the Sanctuary Nature Foundation, she has made a film, ‘Kids for Tigers’ and continues to talk about depleting biodiversity and endangered species like the snow leopards. She also supports the Wildlife Trust of India in its efforts to highlight the courage and sacrifices of forest rangers. Dia is also an active supporter of campaigns promoting plastic-neutral choices and is investing in green businesses as well.

Varsha Raikwar

A 25-year-old radio jockey from Madhya Pradesh, Varsha Raikwar, is making a significant impact on the environmental landscape as a climate champion with the Women Climate Collective (WCC). A Nat Geo ‘One for Change’ campaign changemaker, she uses her voice to educate her community in Bundelkhand, North India, about resource management, waste, and eco-friendliness. She also organizes community-driven events like seminars and street plays to spread the environmental message to the rural population. Despite facing gender-based discrimination, Varsha is determined to ensure equal representation of women in discussions surrounding climate change. In 2021, she was recognized as a United Nations Young Climate Leader for her contributions to environmental education and gender equality.

Gul Panag

Actor, producer, and entrepreneur, Gul Panag is a dedicated advocate for a sustainable future. She operates a startup, Sunfuel Electric, providing convenient electric vehicle charging solutions across India. Beyond entrepreneurship, Gul is deeply committed to environmental causes, as seen in her role in The Col. Shamsher Singh Foundation. Named after her grandfather, this NGO focuses on gender equality, education, and disaster management. Her philanthropic efforts extend to community well-being, showcasing her dedication to both the environment and the less fortunate.

Pragya Kapoor

Entrepreneur, and advocate for a greener planet, Pragya Kapoor has launched key initiatives contributing to a cleaner environment. For the past three years, she has made a significant impact on climate action through her NGO, Ek Saath Foundation (ESF), actively engaging in social causes such as cleaning and promoting hygiene awareness in underserved areas. As part of efforts to protect the environment, the Foundation has launched various initiatives like ‘Project Kuda’ to help implement a responsible waste management system, promoting a circular economy. On World Environment Day in June this year, Pragya also collaborated with the Indian Navy for a cleanliness drive at Carter Road, Mumbai.

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