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Women Lead Climate Talks' Toughest Topic: Reparations

Men usually outnumber and outrank women negotiators in climate talks, except when it comes to global warming’s thorniest diplomatic issue this year — reparations for climate disasters.

The issue of polluting nations paying vulnerable countries is handed over to women, who got the issue on the agenda after 30 years. Whether this year’s United Nations climate talks in Egypt succeed or fail mostly will come down to the issue called loss and damage in international negotiations, officials and experts say. It’s an issue that intertwines equity and economics, balancing the needs of those hurt and those who would pay.

Nearly all of the key players are women and they and others say better gender representation could yield better results.

“I think what we need at this crucial time is empathy ... We need to think about our world in the sense of taking care of our world,” said Chilean Environment Minister Maisa Rojas. “Maybe culturally, historically, they are seen as feminine values.”

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