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'Rural women can play crucial role in tackling climate change'

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Women, especially those living in rural areas, can play a crucial role in tackling climate change "by changing the way they cook, gather wood or maintain household", French Ambassador to Francois Richier said today.

"I would like to highlight that women are not only at risk due to climate change but they are also part of the solution. Because, particularly in rural areas, they are the ones who can adopt some important measures necessary to stop climate change.

"They can contribute towards the cause by changing the way they cook, gather wood or maintain household. They also can educate their children about the same," Richier said at an event organised by French Embassy here to mark International Day of Action for Women's Health.

The event was organised in the run up to the Paris Climate Change Conference - COP21.

Richier said at a time when challenges because of climate change are increasing, the most fragile population, women, become the first victims.

Most of women in rural areas use wood and coal as cooking fuel which are often burnt in open. Incomplete combustion leads to the release of small particles and other constituents which they breathe in and that damage their health. Also the particles released in air pollute the environment, he said.

"Climate change was high on the agenda of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to France in April and there was share of views in this regard.

"The two leaders (Prime Minister Modi and French President Francois Hollande) decided to work hand in hand towards the success of the COP 21. Also, they agreed upon arriving at practical solutions in the field of energy and energy efficiency and other matters related to climate change," the French envoy said.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21, will be held in Paris, from November 30 to December 11 this year. The goal of the convention is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The workshop, titled "Tackling climate change for healthier women", was organised in association with Apollo Hospitals and Public Health Foundation of and deliberated on understanding the implication of climate change consequences on women livelihood and highlighted best practices to reduce the exposure of women to climate change risks.

First Published: Thu, May 28 2015. 15:02 IST