Study Shows: More Women Leaders = Cleaner Environment

A recent study published in the journal Social Science Research has confirmed what those involved in Earth Day Network’s Women and the Green Economy (WAGE)® campaign have been saying for a long time: Getting more women into leadership positions is good for the environment. Specifically, the study says that it lowers a country’s CO2 emissions.

The study was authored by sociologists Christina Ergas and Richard York of the University of Oregon, Eugene. They write:


We find that CO2 emissions per capita are lower in nations where women have higher political status, controlling for GDP per capita, urbanization, industrialization, militarization, world-system position, foreign direct investment, the age dependency ratio, and level of democracy. This finding suggests that efforts to improve gender equality around the world may work synergistically with efforts to curtail global climate change and environmental degradation more generally.


The authors say they don’t know the exact reasons for this correlation, but Earth Day Network President Kathleen Rogers has some ideas, as does UN Women Executive Director Lakshmi Puri, And the women who have been part of our WAGE global consultative process are developing some great ideas about how to fix the green-economy gender gap.

You can view the summary and download the full study here