Caroline Lucas tops BBC Woman’s Hour Power List

·3 min read
Caroline Lucas says thousands of women will be doubly disadvantaged by the new Bill (AFP/Getty Images)
Caroline Lucas says thousands of women will be doubly disadvantaged by the new Bill (AFP/Getty Images)

Caroline Lucas has clinched the top spot in the power list compiled by BBC Radio 4’s eminent Woman’s Hour programme.

The 2020 Woman’s Hour Power List shines a light on women who are committed to making the world a more sustainable place as the climate crisis rapidly escalates.

Ms Lucas, former leader of the Green Party, is followed by Farhana Yamin, an environmental lawyer, in second place, and Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, a clean air campaigner whose nine-year-old daughter’s death from asthma was the first to be linked to air pollution in Britain, in third place.

Mya-Rose Craig, an 18-year-old birder and environmentalist known by her moniker of Birdgirl, and Sophie Howe, the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, were in fourth and fifth place.

Lucy Siegle, a journalist who sat on this year’s panel, said Ms Lucas held “power to account” and her impact would increase yet further as the climate crisis ramps up.

She said: “The judges recognised that Caroline is the politician of our generation who almost uniquely uses environmental logic to make her decisions.

"She is able to explain scientific evidence in clear and impactful terms, is creative on policy and very alive to ideas, fearless in holding power to account and has unparalleled experience.

"Immediately recognisable as a key moderniser of the green movement (she was elected to the Green Party in 1999) – she is one of just a few recognised and trusted voices on the environment.

"As judges we felt that as the dual crisis in nature and climate becomes ever more immediate, her influence, expertise and experience should see her already extensive influence continue to grow.”

Ms Lucas, who has been the Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion since the 2010 general election, campaigns for a plethora of issues related to the environment.

Karen Dalziel, editor of Woman’s Hour, said the list of 30 woman from up and down the UK have made “protecting our planet their personal priority”.

Ms Dalziel added: “They’re the decision makers, innovators, communicators, campaigners and volunteers who’ve made a conscious choice to care for our environment and find more sustainable ways to live.

“However it’s not just the work they’re doing that sets them apart, it’s the scale of their passion, dedication and determination to bring about lasting charge that is so inspiring. We’re delighted to be celebrating them in this year’s Power List.”

Flo Headlam, a horticulturalist who sat on the panel, said Ms Kissi-Debrah had been selected for the “extraordinary trajectory her campaigning has taken since the tragic loss of her daughter Ella, who died in 2013 as a direct result of air pollution”.

Ms Headlam added: "She has used her energy and power as an impassioned grassroots campaigner to take the fight for cleaner air from the local community all the way to the World Health Organisation, where she works tirelessly to improve the air for all of us.”

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