‘COOL’: The First Book Documenting The Work Of Global Female Climate Leaders

It is clear that women, and especially young women of color, are leading the way on the global discussions and actions around climate change. And while there has been a lot of media and film attention given to many of them (most notably Swedish teen Greta Thunberg and American teen collective Zero Hour co-founded by Jamie Margolin), it is imperative that more of these voices of leadership become well known.

Award-winning photographer and author Paola Gianturco, whose work focuses on women fighting gender inequality and taking action worldwide, is set to release her seventh book titled ‘COOL’ with her granddaughter Avery Sangster, published by powerHouse Books.

You may recognize Paola’s work and name, as she released another book we featured on GirlTalkHQ, called ‘Wonder Girls: Changing Our World’. COOL is the first and only book to document the work of women climate leaders globally. It tells compelling and uplifting stories about women around the world. For COOL, Paola, and Avery interviewed and photographed women politicians, corporate executives, scholars, heads of grassroots groups, and presidents of organizations that are all dedicated to combating global warming. These women leaders are based in 10 countries: the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Tanzania, Australia, Sri Lanka, India, and Hong Kong.

Award-winning author/photographer Paola Gianturco (L) and her co-author and granddaughter Avery Sangster (R)

It should be noted that there is increasing knowledge of how climate change disproportionately impacts women and girls around the world. So it makes perfect sense to see more women, and empower more women, to rise to positions of leadership combating this urgent issue. Women are especially effective leaders when it comes to combating global warming.

Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac, architects of the 2015 Paris Agreement, report that “Nations with greater female representation in positions of power have smaller climate footprints. Companies with women on their executive boards are more likely to invest in renewable energy and develop products that help solve the climate crisis. Women legislators vote for environmental protections almost twice as frequently as men, and women who lead investment firms are twice as likely to make investment decisions based on how companies treat their employees and the environment.” 

In COOL you will meet:

  • Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney, Australia, who’s vowed to reduce city government emissions by 70% by 2030. Already, she’s made Sydney the first Australian city to be declared carbon neutral.
  • Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Inuit activist, who sees her indigenous people as climate change sentinels for the world, and levers their observations, experience, and knowledge of the Arctic to benefit people everywhere.
  • Fifteen thousand Sri Lankan women who raise and plant “miracle trees,” mangroves, which sequester five times more carbon dioxide than tropical trees in the Amazon Rain Forrest.
  • Nelleke van der Puil, Vice President of Materials at LEGO, who is developing plastic made with plants instead of oil, which is transforming her company’s products.

The women and girls in COOL share their inspiring stories in their own words and suggest actions that all of us can do to help them on their existential journey; QR codes deliver readers online to discover ways to implement those ideas. Avery’s Invitation to Action, the final chapter of this book, is a powerful call for all of us to engage with the issue.

Having Avery co-create this book is quite fitting, as she exemplifies how her generation are rising up to tackle this issue head on. Avery interviewed and photographed women leaders across the United States and Tanzania for COOL. She is used to thinking about global issues; she and her sister created a children’s program that they led for seven years at an annual international poverty conference Avery is passionate about reversing warming. She mobilized her sixth-grade classmates to create an environmental website. 

An “Action Pack” in the book offers ideas readers can use immediately (e.g., the Climate Museum donated a credit-card-sized Guide to Climate Conversations). 

One hundred percent of the author royalties from this book benefit the Women’s Earth Alliance, providing seed money to women around the world who are launching business and nonprofit ventures that will help reverse global warming. 

The authors will also have a tree planted for every copy of the book that’s sold. The book is set to be released on Earth Day 2022, April 22. You can order your copy here.

‘COOL: Women Leaders Reversing Global Warming’ book cover. From Powerhouse Books.