Christiana Figueres was featured on BBC’s list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2023. Figueres is the only Central American selected and one of the few Latin Americans. She shares credits with Mexicans and several South Americans.
Some of the women featured include former U.S First Lady Michelle Obama, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, Ballon d’Or-winning footballer Aitana Bonmatí, AI expert Timnit Gebru, feminist icon Gloria Steinem, Hollywood star America Ferrera, and beauty mogul Huda Kattan.
The BBC 100 Women team compiled a list based on names collected by them and suggested by the network of BBC World Service language teams, as well as BBC Media Action.
The BBC looked for candidates who had made headlines or generated relevant articles over the past 12 months. As well as those who had inspiring stories to tell, had achieved something significant or influenced their societies in ways that were not necessarily newsworthy.
A group of names linked to this year’s theme – climate change and its disproportionate impact on women and girls around the world – were also evaluated. From there, the BBC selected a group of 28 pioneering women climate and other environmental leaders.
The BBC highlighted Figueres’ leadership and commitment to environmental protection.
“When talks stalled at the 2009 UN climate summit in Copenhagen, Christiana Figueres was brought in to solve a problem. Appointed executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Figueres spent the next six years developing a plan to ensure nations agreed on a shared climate strategy,” the media outlet stated.
The publication also remarked her key role in the 2015 Paris agreement, mentioning her work was important to make almost 200 nations sign “an international treaty that sets the commitment to keep the rise in mean global temperature to “well below” 2.0C above pre-industrial levels.”
As part of her work, Christiana founded Global Optimism, which is an organization that works alongside businesses to find and adopt climate solutions.
“I use my pain and anger to anchor myself into the root of my emotions, transforming them into a deep commitment to act out of strength, love, and expectant joy, co-creating the better world we all want for our children and their descendants,” the climate activist told the BBC.