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  • Romy Kraus

"We have to invest in quality education for girls. Climate change is connected to all the issues ...

Malala joined Apple VP of environment, policy and social initiatives Lisa Jackson, who called on governments and businesses to act quickly and decisively to meet climate targets.

Malala Yousafzai and Lisa Jackson joined European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer and WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at 100,000-attendee online conference Web Summit.

Malala commented : "Malala Fund is heading into doing research…on the link between girls education and climate change while also providing the curriculum on sustainability and environmental protection and what is the role that girl's education plays in that. We will also be proposing and providing recommendations for government level policies and local level commitments that we need so that at the COP26 happening in November in London...the voices of young girls will reach to those tables and…this research is considered in the decision making. We hope that our leaders show full responsibility and make good decisions about protecting our future. Thank you to Apple for the support and funding that made it possible."

Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Prize laureate and co-founder of the Malala Fund, joined Lisa Jackson, Apple's VP of environment, policy and social initiatives, to discuss an interconnected approach to tackling climate change. Malala focused on the everyday impact that climate change is having on women all over the world.

The pair came together at the 100,000-attendee Web Summit – the largest tech conference in the world. "When there are droughts, many young girls have to walk for miles to fetch water, and the time they're supposed to give to their homework or their studies, that time is spent fetching water for their families. It is obvious that climate change impacts girls directly, and it impacts their education," said Malala.

Malala highlighted the importance of education in empowering women, and the knock-on effect it has on the climate.

"When we educate girls, and we empower them and give them the quality education they need, it actually helps us to tackle climate change. Because, when girls are educated, they have fewer children; they're more economically independent; they can fight against these difficulties that climate change brings. They're more resilient; more prepared for that. It provides protection for women," said Malala.

Lisa Jackson echoed Malala's point and talked about studies that have shown female empowerment to be a big factor in combatting climate change.

"I don't think we can emphasise enough that intersection. If you look at studies, they've shown that the number one thing that we can do to impact the trajectory on climate change is to educate and empower girls and women. We all need to let that sink in for a minute."

Lisa also called on governments and businesses to act quickly and do more.

"From the government side, we need – we must have – strong policies, rules, laws that support real action on climate change. And not incremental. Unfortunately, we've wasted enough time."

"I think it's time for a call to real action. For me, that means calling on all businesses – including those in our supply chain – to set aggressive targets by 2030. Maybe you can't get to carbon neutral by 2030, but you can do more. We need for businesses to step up. And let's have our world leaders push for policies that address climate change. Let's bring our clock forward."

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