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Effect of female representation

Eur. J. Political Econ. (2019)

Women tend to show greater concern about climate change than men, and bear more of the costs of climate change because of gendered labour and care roles. Because politicians implement policies consistent with their preferences, the political representation of women could have implications for climate change policy.

Astghik Mavisakalyan and Yashar Tarverdi from Curtin University, Australia, test whether the representation of women in parliament contributes to the climate change policies enacted. In a dataset of 91 countries, they find a strong positive relationship between the percentage of seats occupied by women in national parliaments and the stringency of climate change policy, which in turn is associated with lower CO2 emissions. This relationship holds when controlling for factors such as GDP per capita, political regime and geo-economic characteristics, and is robust to alternative measures of climate policy stringency. The authors suggest that initiatives to increase female representation in governance may have a positive impact on climate change action.

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Correspondence to Jenn Richler.

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Richler, J. Effect of female representation. Nat. Clim. Chang. 9, 801 (2019).

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