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Pale, Male and Wrong: The Missing Link in Global Low-Carbon Transition Efforts

The urgency and scale of the climate challenge is clear, reinforced by the recent IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, and global climate marches and school strikes demanding action. Ambitious policy pledges and global alliances prove to be insufficient and the world is largely not on track to arrest dangerous levels of climate change or fulfill the promises of the Sustainable Development Agenda. Conceiving solutions for a vastly changing energy system is challenging but what compounds the issue might be the siloed approach often taken in transition deliberations. Policy decisions and industry strategies globally continue to be conceived in a male and pale environment, where group-think and homogeneity deprives the world of the disruptive innovation that only cognitive diversity can produce. To bolster agility and steer the energy economy onto pathway that is climate-resilient, diversity, inclusion and women’s empowerment within the global energy sector is a strategic imperative. 

This reports aims to highlight the current lack of cognitive diversity within the energy sector, exploring statistics and drawing conclusions on specific impediments faced by women in the sector; reiterate research findings on the power of diversity to produce better business results focusing on the gender parity co-benefits for the energy industry; and examine best practices and strategies to foster rebalancing of the industry’s talent pool. This is accomplished employing both a moralistic approach – gender equality is a matter of social fairness and human rights; but also business pragmatism – highlighting that the magnitude of the challenge calls for cognitive diversity and creativity across the energy value chain to sustain the disruptive pressures and perform in a carbon-constrained policy and economic reality. The author also argues that in a world inflamed by the temptations of populism, maintaining societal or workforce divisions will only compound the transition trajectory. Ignoring the alarming signs around the changing societal paradigms and discounting the proverbial issue of societal cohesion in energy transition scenarios and roadmaps will render the 2030 and 2050 milestones meaningless and discredit the end of century climate neutrality and prosperity vision.

Energy transition |  Diversity in Energy |  Energy-Climate-Gender Nexus | Women Empowerment & Inclusion | Women in Energy

MARCH, 2020


The energy transition demands strong public-private partnerships and commitment to a more sustainable future. 

With extensive and frontline experience across Governments, EU Institutions, Politicians, Private and Public Companies and Non-for-Profit Organisations ECEGA assists public and private institutions and businesses to design creative and powerful strategies for change and adjust to challenges and capitalise on evolving opportunities in a carbon-constrained world. 

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