COP28: 7 Indian Women Pioneering Climate Action

COP28 in Dubai on November 30 marks a pivotal moment for global climate action. Indian women take centre stage, driving climate-friendly initiatives and discussions, highlighting their significant contributions to building a sustainable future.

Ishika Thanvi
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As the world grapples with the escalating effects of human-induced climate change, the Climate Change 2023 Synthesis report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) serves as a stark reminder of the urgency to address this global crisis. Against this backdrop, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties to the Convention - COP28 in Dubai on November 30 has become a focal point for discussions and actions toward a sustainable future. 


Notably, it also spotlights the remarkable contributions of Indian women who are at the forefront of the fight against climate change. 

Nidhi Pant: Empowering Women through Innovation

Founder of S4S (Science For Society) Technologies, Nidhi Pant stands as a beacon of environmental sustainability. Her organisation is a near-farm gate food processing platform powered by solar energy, empowering thousands of women entrepreneurs and small businesses. Nidhi is also a champion of the Women Climate Collective (WCC), a community dedicated to addressing climate change and gender issues. Recognised with accolades such as the Earthshot Prize 2023, Nidhi's commitment to creating a waste-free food system showcases her dedication to environmental causes.

Dia Mirza: Actress Turned Climate Advocate

Dia Mirza, known for her acting in Bollywood, has seamlessly transitioned into a dedicated climate advocate. Serving as the National Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Dia has represented India's sustainability concerns at the United Nations General Assembly. Beyond her acting career, she has collaborated with the Sanctuary Nature Foundation to produce the film 'Kids for Tigers,' shedding light on biodiversity conservation. Dia actively supports initiatives promoting plastic-neutral choices and invests in green businesses, underlining her multifaceted commitment to the environment.

Varsha Raikwar: Voice of Change in Radio


Varsha Raikwar, a 25-year-old radio jockey from Madhya Pradesh, has emerged as a significant climate champion with the Women Climate Collective. As a Nat Geo 'One for Change' campaign changemaker, Varsha utilises her voice to educate her community in Bundelkhand about resource management and eco-friendliness. Despite facing gender-based discrimination, Varsha remains determined to ensure equal representation of women in climate change discussions. Her recognition as a United Nations Young Climate Leader in 2021 is a testament to her impactful contributions to environmental education and gender equality.

Gul Panag: Actor Turned Environmental Entrepreneur

Gul Panag, an actor, producer, and entrepreneur, is actively advocating for a sustainable future. Through her startup, Sunfuel Electric, she provides convenient electric vehicle charging solutions across India. Gul is also deeply committed to philanthropy through The Col. Shamsher Singh Foundation, focusing on gender equality, education, and disaster management. Her efforts extend to community well-being, demonstrating her dedication to both environmental causes and the less fortunate.

Pragya Kapoor: Entrepreneur for a Greener Tomorrow

Entrepreneur and environmental advocate, Pragya Kapoor, has launched key initiatives contributing to a cleaner environment through her NGO, Ek Saath Foundation (ESF). ESF engages in social causes such as cleaning and promoting hygiene awareness in underserved areas. Initiatives like 'Project Kuda' aim to implement a responsible waste management system, promoting a circular economy. Pragya's collaboration with the Indian Navy for a cleanliness drive at Carter Road, Mumbai, on World Environment Day highlights her commitment to environmental sustainability.

Sangitaben Rathod & Jasumatiben Jethabai Parmar: Guardians of Traditional Wisdom


Sangitaben Rathod and Jasumatiben Jethabai Parmar have brought traditional solutions to the forefront of global climate talks. These women, looking powerful in desi clothes, champion the use of neem leaves and cow urine to create organic fertilizers and insecticides. This innovative practice, rooted in traditional wisdom, has not only sustained their crops but is now being adopted by women farmers across India. Their presence at COP28 symbolises the need for recognising and implementing indigenous practices to tackle climate change.

Prajakta Koli: Youth Climate Champion

Prajakta Koli, an actor, content creator, and influencer, has become the first Youth Climate Champion for India's United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Known for her YouTube channel 'MostlySane,' Prajakta actively advocates for environmental and climate causes. With a focus on maximising youth engagement in climate initiatives, Koli, a prominent youth icon, is an ideal choice as a speaker at COP28, given her extensive contributions to mental health, women's rights, and girl child education through various global social campaigns.

In her capacity as UNDP India Youth Climate Champion, Prajakta has engaged with young minds to raise awareness about the detrimental effects of climate change, global warming, and biodiversity loss, particularly on vulnerable communities. Her mission involves inspiring collective action by sharing uplifting stories of governments, communities, and individuals taking tangible steps to create a positive impact on the environment and society as a whole.

As these women take centre stage at COP28, their diverse contributions underscore the integral role that women play in driving climate action. From innovative technologies to traditional wisdom, these leaders showcase the multifaceted approaches needed to address the complex challenges of climate change. Their presence at COP28 not only amplifies the voices of Indian women but also inspires a global commitment to building a sustainable and resilient future for all.

Views expressed by the author are their own

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