Kenyan environmental adviser Wanjira Mathai and scientist Susan Chomba have both been featured among the 100 inspiring and influential women in the world according to the BBC.

The list, revealed this week, the two are among 28 Climate Pioneers, named ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28.

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Susan Chomba

Susan currently works as the director oft the World Resources Institute (WRI). She uses her experience of childhood poverty in Kirinyaga County in central Kenya to motivate her to help improve the lives of others.

Speaking to the publication about what drives her, Susan Chomba said, “I’m more affected by the inaction of world leaders, especially from the major emitters, who also have the economic power to change course but are held back by money, power and politics. 

To manage those feelings, I bury myself in actions on the ground, working with women and youth across Africa on nature protection and restoration, transforming our food systems and changing policies.”

Wanjira Mathai

Mathai currently works as the managing director for Africa and Global Partnerships at the World Resources Institute, and is the chair of the Wangari Maathai Foundation.

“Action is “local”. We need to support local initiatives like tree-based entrepreneurs and community-led work around restoration, renewable energy and the circular economy. 

Bottom-up efforts like these give me hope as they show us what is possible,” she said of her role.

The list which also features celebrities such as Michelle Obama, Amal Clooney, America Ferrera to name is meant to celebrate these icons but also serves as an inspiration to other people.

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