Meet Wanjira Mathai, a leading advocate for justice, green energy, and gender equality

Wanjira Mathai has two passions: women’s economic empowerment through clean energy access, and protecting and restoring degraded landscapes as a response to climate change.

Wanjira Mathai has been interested in climate issues for 15 years now.  Having worked with the Green Belt Movement (2002) and now leading global advocacy at wPOWER, she has been inspired by the opportunity that we each can make a difference. She thinks that each of us has an obligation to do something to make this world a better place.  The Climate Reality Leadership training she attended in 2014 in South Africa was a source of great inspiration to her.

At the moment, Wanjira has two main areas of interest: women’s economic empowerment through clean energy access, and protecting and restoring degraded landscapes as a response to climate change.

Her main involvement in climate action is through her work at Women Entrepreneurs in Renewables (wPOWER) and the Green Belt Movement.

As Senior Advisor for the Partnerships for wPOWER, Wanjira leads the organisation’s global advocacy and strategy. The wPOWER Hub promotes the prominence of women’s leadership in addressing energy poverty and climate change by bringing renewable energy to 3.5 million women in East Africa, Nigeria and India.  wPOWER focuses on consolidating and building evidence that supports the strategic involvement of women in clean energy entrepreneurship, spotlighting and scaling of best practices in clean energy entrepreneurship, advocating for women’s leadership in clean energy entrepreneurship & in addressing climate change, and building a global partnership of stakeholders involved in the sector.

As the lead global advocate for the wPOWER partnership, Wanjira represents the issue of women’s economic empowerment through clean energy access in local and international forums, particularly making the linkages to the urgency of climate action and the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy.

Wanjira chairs the board of the legacy-focused Wangari Maathai Foundation. She also sits on the boards of the Green Belt Movement, Wangari Maathai Institute, the World Resources Institute, and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).  She also serves on the Earth Charter International Council, the advisory council of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves & Fuels and co-chairs the Global Restoration Council with Dr. Göran Persson, former Prime Minister of Sweden, to advocate for landscape restoration around the world.

An African Climate Reality Leader from Kenya, Wanjira Mathai is part of a dynamic group of world-changers shaping the conversation on climate in forums ranging from family dinners to international summits. Together they are building a 21st-century movement for solutions to tackle climate change and foster environmental sustainability in Africa and world-wide.