#6 Educating Girls

This article looks into educating girls as a climate change solution. It is based on the analysis of Project Drawdown, which was a 2017 initiative to map the top 100 most effective solutions to reverse global warming.


Again, this solution highlighted what I liked best about the Drawdown initiative, which was that it challenged perceptions of how effective technological solutions were and intermingled them with socio-economic solutions. On this occasion we are talking about another socio-economic solution that could prevent massive amounts of carbon from being released into the atmosphere.

The authors begin with the following statement:

Girls education, it turns out, has a dramatic bearing on global warming. Women with more years of education have fewer, healthier children and actively manage their reproductive health.”

The authors go on to explain that:

An intrinsic right, education lays a foundation for vibrant lives for girls and women, their families, and their communities. It is the most powerful lever available for breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty, while mitigating emissions by curbing population growth.

Let’s now turn to the numbers that allowed educating girls to be ranked as the 6th most effective solution to reverse global warming. The authors calculated that educating girls could reduce CO2 emissions by 59.6 gigatons. They did however state that putting a figure on a return on investment on this solution was incalculable.  Regardless, this is still a major solution with the potential to affect massive amounts of carbon emissions.

The authors did point towards some of the barriers that may impact on this solution:

Cultural barriers encompass traditional beliefs that girls should tend the home rather than learn to read and write, should be married off at a young age, and, when resources are slim, should be skipped over so boys can be sent to school instead.”

These cultural barriers may prove difficult to overcome in some areas.

The authors close with the following powerful statement:

“When it comes to climate change, nurturing the promise of each girl can shape the future for all.”

What you need to know

This article looked into educating girls as a climate change solution. It was based on the analysis of Project Drawdown, which was a 2017 initiative that mapped the top 100 most effective climate change solutions.

What is clear is that with family planning and educating girls both ranking as solutions that could reduce CO2 emissions by 59.6 gigatons, these are solutions that simply must be acted on, without delay.

I also think that there is no need to mention climate change when developing an agenda for addressing these problems. These are areas of great moral significance and have importance with or without their role in reversing global warming.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below or reach out to me on social media. What do you think of educating girls as a climate change solution?

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I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

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