Green Women Leaders – France, Belgium, Germany, Brazil, UK

A funny thing happened after the world’s failure to agree on a climate-change plan at the 2009 Copenhagen summit: 2010 became the year of the Greens; and more specifically, of the Green women. Cécile Duflot, head of France’s third-most powerful party, is being dubbed a kingmaker for the 2012 presidential race and recently led the French Greens to strong showings in the European parliamentary and regional races. Renate Künast presides over Germany’s Green parliamentary coalition at a time when the party there is polling higher than ever. Italy’s Monica Frassoni is the continentwide face of this growing surge as co-president of the European Greens. And Brazil’s Marina Silva, a rural labor activist and former environment minister, surprised everyone by forcing her country’s recent presidential election into a runoff, placing a strong third with the highest vote share ever garnered by the Green Party there. And not forgetting our very own Caroline Lucas, making the breakthrough as the first Green MP at Westminster.

What these women share isn’t just political ambition; it’s also their conviction that the environment is the electoral issue of the future. Economy down? Create green jobs. Worried about feeding a resource-hungry world? Time to innovate new green technologies. “We have vision and think long term, but we apply our political beliefs in concrete reforms,” Künast said in August.

Someday sooner than you think, they might get the chance. Isn’t that right, Delyth?!

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