Some 40,000 people, including delegates from 190 nations, will be gathering in Paris this December to examine and hopefully reinvigorate the future shape of the world, and particularly our climate. It promises to be the largest single gathering of nations in our history, and it comes at a moment many believe is a critical turning point in our future. Climate change is the centerpiece of this attempt to mold a global consensus on how to protect our people from cataclysmic changes that could render Earth inhospitable to life as we know it. But the subtext is even more powerful and immediate—how to empower the planet to feed the billions who live on it today and the billions more who will need its resources in the future. For decades, one woman has played a central role in this effort. Ségolène Royal, France’s...

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