He can’t control his tears. Let’s separate because I’m older than you. I have been helping the IPCC since 2002 by leading the group that measures how much greenhouse gas each country produces. We create ways and rules for countries to tell us how much pollution they produce. Every country must use the Panel’s methodical reports to report their emissions. Therefore, it is work that has a purpose or is important. In 2009, I was chosen again for the same job, and then in 2015, I was elected as a vice chair. The IPCC organization has a leader and co-leaders of three groups.
These leaders make sure that both developed and developing countries are involved. It is a mix of countries that are still growing and countries that are more advanced. I have been helping the IPCC for many years without getting paid for it. No one gets paid by the IPCC – they only rely on donations. When the Brazilian government asked me and suggested me for the job, I was surprised at first. I requested some time to think before agreeing to be nominated.
When I finally said yes, I found out that in the past 34 years, no women had been chosen for a leadership role in the IPCC. Actually, when I became vice chair, I was the first woman ever to have that position.
We need to do more than just talk about fair participation, we should take actions to bring about real changes. A lot of groups from different countries want things to be more fair, so the IPCC needs a leader who is brave enough to confront this problem. That was a beginning, but for me, it wasn’t sufficient.