World Thinking Day – Girls speaking out about climate change and gender equality

To celebrate this year’s Thinking Day theme, which is all about gender equality and climate change, we caught up with former Girlguiding Advocate and Brownie leader Emily. She attended COP26 as a World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) delegate.


Find out what Emily got up to and what she got out of this once in a lifetime experience in Glasgow.

I attended COP26 in Glasgow to represent Girlguiding and WAGGGS, and to make sure the voices of girls and young women were listened to at one of the most crucial climate conferences of this century. While there, we were able to speak with decision makers from around the world (including US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), attend talks and panels, and speak with reps attending each of the country’s delegate zones.

We attended a talk on advancing gender equality in climate action, where the president of COP26 spoke with a panel of international female ambassadors for climate change, including Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister of Scotland and Tercila Rivera Zea, an Indigenous Chirapaquos activist. This was especially important because the climate crisis tends to disproportionately impact women so we need to find more ways to bring girls and young women into the conversation.

The key theme of climate justice was also brought up in talks by Indigenous women on the importance of climate equality, plus Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and former US President Barack Obama made speeches about the importance of listening to young people, particularly girls. This was really encouraging for myself and my fellow young delegates. I’m hopeful that as we move forward the voices of young people will be taken more seriously when it comes to discussing issues as important like the environment.

Climate change is intersectional, and women and girls are most likely to be negatively affected by climate change while doing the least to cause of it.

The World Thinking Day theme highlights the importance of climate justice. As a result, I’ve been working with YOUNGO and Fridays For Future (organisations at the heart of the youth climate movement) to try and combat the climate crisis. Most important of all, I discuss these topics with my Brownies and remind them that they too can use their voice to influence change and help create a better future for girls, for women, for all of us.

Take on the Take 2 in 2022 challenge

If you’d like to take steps with your unit to protect the planet our new Take 2 in 2022 challenge pack features a whole section on the environment. It’s packed full of fun activities and fun actions you can do in order to help tackle climate change where you are.